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.
Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija is heading back to the disabled list, per a team announcement on Sunday. Samardzija was diagnosed with another bout of inflammation in his right shoulder and will undergo further evaluation this week, though surgery is not currently being considered. A concrete timetable for his return to the rotation will not be set until the club knows the extent of his injury.
At this point in the season, Samardzija has seen far more time on the DL than he has on the mound. This will be his third trip there after missing a collective nine weeks with a pectoral strain and right shoulder rightness since the start of the year. When healthy, he put up a 1-5 record in 10 starts with a 6.25 ERA, 5.2 BB/9 and 6.0 SO/9 through just 44 2/3 innings in 2018.
In a corresponding move, infielder Kelby Tomlinson has been recalled from Triple-A Sacramento. Southpaw Derek Holland will slot into Samardzija’s spot in the rotation; he currently carries a 5-8 record across 18 starts and a 4.09 ERA, 3.4 B/9 and 9.1 SO/9 over 101 1/3 innings in 2018.