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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Angels P Garrett Richards could need surgery for damaged UCL

Garrett Richards

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: a Los Angeles Angels pitcher has UCL damage and could need surgery.

The Angels announced on Wednesday that Garrett Richards underwent an MRI that showed damage to his ulnar collateral ligament. The team says they presented him with options for treatment, including conservative care and surgery.

Richards left his start on Tuesday against the Mariners with forearm issues, which led to his MRI on Wednesday.

The timing of the news is awful for a few reasons, if not surprising.

Richards, who is 5-4 with a 3.66 ERA and 1.28 WHIP, was the Angels’ biggest trade chip ahead of the deadline, so now they will be unlikely to find a taker for him. Two, Richards is set to be a free agent after the year, and now he’s looking like damaged goods.

The injury isn’t surprising because Richards has had the same issue for three straight years. He made just 6 starts in 2016 due to a torn UCL. He opted for stem-cell injections as treatment rather than Tommy John surgery, and he ended up making just six starts in 2017 because of continued arm issues.

Richards should have undergone the Tommy John procedure back in 2016, which likely would have had him back on track by now rather than continually dealing with the same issues.



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