Garrett Richards has had a pretty bad run of injury luck in recent years. He previously had an elbow issue a couple years ago and while he did avoid surgery, it did cost him a bunch of time. Then, he had a biceps issue that cost him most of his 2017 season.
However, Richards looked as though he had his injury issues behind him just in time for his pending free agency. He had posted a 3.66 ERA in 16 starts with the Angels and has posted the best strikeout rate of his career.
Unfortunately, Richards recently had to be put on the DL with elbow issues and it was widely reported that there was UCL damage. What wasn’t known, at least until now, was whether he would need Tommy John surgery. Sadly, it appears that he will, in fact, have to go under the knife.
Garrett Richards is going to have Tommy John surgery.— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) July 12, 2018
The timing couldn’t be worse for Richards as he is going to be a free agent after this season. His injury history combined being 30 years old is going to weigh heavily on his chances to come back to the major leagues. He won’t be able to pitch until he is at least 31 and depending on how his rehab goes, it is very possible that he won’t be able to pitch at all in 2019.
In short, this is just another blow to the Angels at a time when then don’t need any more bad news. With Richards out for the season and Shohei Ohtani’s immediate future on the mound in doubt combined with a tough division, 2018 is slowly slipping away from the Angels.