Angels starter Garrett Richards was diagnosed with a damaged ulnar collateral ligament on Wednesday, a day after an abrupt exit from a start against the Mariners. MLB.com’s Maria Guardado reports that Richards will undergo Tommy John surgery. That will certainly end his 2018 season and will keep him out for most, if not all of the 2019 season as well.
Richards, 30, compiled a 3.66 ERA with 87 strikeouts and 34 walks in 76 1/3 innings across 16 starts for the Angels this season. The right-hander has had trouble staying healthy in recent years, accruing only six starts in each of the 2016 and ’17 seasons.
Richards is a free agent after the completion of this season, so the timing isn’t so great for him. Once he’s recovered from Tommy John surgery, Richards may have to take an incentive-laden major league contract or even a minor league deal.
On Friday evening, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced the first set of results for COVID-19 testing as part of the mandatory intake screening process under MLB’s COVID-19 Health Monitoring & Testing Plan. Per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Athletics are not part of this data because their testing has not yet been completed.
There were 38 positive tests, accounting for 1.2% of the 3,185 samples collected and tested. 31 of the 38 individuals who tested positive are players. 19 different teams had one or more individuals test positive.
Sports Illustrated’s Emma Baccellieri notes that the positive test rate in the U.S. nationally is 8.3 percent. The NBA’s positive test rate was 7.1 percent. MLB’s positive test rate is well below average. This doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong with MLB’s testing or that it’s an atypical round of testing. Rather, MLB’s testing population may more closely represent the U.S. population as a whole. Currently, because testing is still somewhat limited, those who have taken tests have tended to be those exhibiting symptoms or those who have been around others who have tested positive. If every single person in the U.S. took a test, the positive test rate would likely come in at a much lower number.
Several players who tested positive have given their consent for their identities to be made known. Those are: Delino DeShields (link), Brett Martin (link), Edward Colina, Nick Gordon, and Willians Astudillo (link). Additionally, Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodríguez has not shown up to Red Sox camp yet because he has been around someone who tested positive, per The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey.