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#pounditThursday, January 26, 2023

Articles tagged: Garrett Richards

Mets GM Billy Eppler could bring in familiar player?

Billy Eppler speaking

Jul 2, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Los Angeles Angels general manager Billy Eppler speaks during a press conference about the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs before the game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Billy Eppler could be reaching deep into his bag of old connections.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that veteran righty Garrett Richards could be a possibility for the New York Mets. Richards just cleared waivers after being designated for assignment by the Texas Rangers.

Eppler, the first-year Mets general manager, is familiar with Richards from their days with the Los Angeles Angels. Richards pitched for the Angels from 2011 to 2018 (with Eppler serving as the team’s GM for three of those years).

Granted, Richards is 34 now and has not looked great in a long time. Over the last four seasons, Richards has a total ERA of 4.89 and a total WHIP of 1.48 with declining velocity. But Richards, a long-time starter, is virtually a reliever at this point in his career. The Mets (though they have made some moves in recent weeks) could still use help in that department.

Garrett Richards has must-see spin rate change since crackdown

Garrett Richards

Major League Baseball has faced a great deal of criticism for the way the league has cracked down on pitchers using foreign substances, but there is no denying that the new rules have had an impact on the game. Garrett Richards may be the best example of that.

Richards allowed two homers and four earned runs in just 1 2/3 innings in the Boston Red Sox’s loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night. The spin rate on his pitches showed an eye-popping decrease from his season averages.

While he didn’t openly admit to using Spider Tack or other foreign substances previously, Richards’ quote about the new crackdown said it all.

“I feel like I need to be a different pitcher than I was the last 9 1/2 years,” the right-hander said, via Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe.

The new changes have obviously had an impact. That impact will be more pronounced for some pitchers and teams than others, but this graph clearly shows that there has been an overall decrease in spin rate across MLB. Richards and others are going to have to find new ways to be effective.

Garrett Richards reportedly agrees to one-year contract with Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox have made their rumored move for one of the more interesting starting pitchers on the free agent market.

According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, the Red Sox have agreed to terms with Garrett Richards on a one-year, $10 million deal.

It’s quite clear that the Red Sox are paying Richards to be a leading contributor to their rotation in 2021. The 32-year-old was able to stay healthy in 2020, posting a 4.03 ERA in 14 appearances — 10 of them starts — for the San Diego Padres.

Richards has been frequently sidelined due to arm injuries over the last several years, suffering arm issues in 2016 and 2018. The second of those necessitated Tommy John surgery. He appears healthy now, and if he can get back to something resembling his best, he could be a steal for the Red Sox.

Garrett Richards reportedly in talks with Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox already made one addition on the free agent market Friday, and they may not be done.

According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Red Sox are in discussions with free agent pitcher Garrett Richards, who has also attracted the interest of multiple teams.

Richards would be a buy-low candidate for the Red Sox, but possibly a good one. The 32-year-old posted a 3.18 ERA combined over 2014 and 2015 with the Los Angeles Angels, but his prime was derailed by multiple arm injuries. He was more or less able to stay healthy in 2020, posting a 4.03 ERA for the San Diego Padres. The Red Sox would be betting that they can get him back close to his best form and keep him healthy.

The Red Sox added another player on Friday, potentially to play an unfamiliar role.

Garrett Richards set to make Padres debut after lengthy Tommy John recovery

Padres logo

Garrett Richards is finally ready to return to the mound after a long layoff.

AJ Cassavell of reported on Saturday that the veteran righty is set to make his debut for the Padres on Monday against the Milwaukee Brewers after 15 months of Tommy John recovery.

Richards, 31, last pitched for the Los Angeles Angels in 2018. He signed a two-year deal with San Diego last December, putting him under contract through the 2020 season.

The usual recovery timetable for a pitcher undergoing Tommy John surgery is 12-to-15 months, putting Richards on the lengthier end of the spectrum. That might be explained though by Richards’ high velocity on his pitches as well as his opting for alternative treatments when he first damaged his right UCL.

Padres reportedly sign Garrett Richards to 2-year deal

Garrett Richards

The San Diego Padres are making an investment in Garrett Richards.

The Padres have signed Richards to a two-year deal with $15 million guaranteed, according to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan.

Richards, 30, will miss the entire 2019 season due to Tommy John surgery, so the Padres are banking on what he’ll be able to deliver for them in 2020.

Richards has experienced injuries throughout his career. He suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2014. He suffered an elbow injury in 2016 but did not undergo Tommy John surgery and instead opted for other methods of treatment. He hardly saw any action in both 2016 and 2017 as a result. Then Richards was having a good season in 2018 until having more elbow problems. At that point he finally decided to undergo reconstructive surgery.

Richards has been solid when available. He is 45-38 with a 3.54 career ERA.

Garrett Richards explains decision to undergo Tommy John surgery

Garrett Richards

Garrett Richards will likely be sidelined until 2020 after deciding to undergo Tommy John surgery, and now he’s explaining the thought process behind it.

It was announced Thursday that Richards had opted for the dreaded elbow procedure to fix his damaged right UCL, per Maria Guardado of

In an interview that aired on FOX Sports West, the Los Angeles Angels righty opened up about the decision to bite the bullet and get the Tommy John.

“I obviously knew something was going on based on how I was feeling, so I’m gonna go ahead and have Tommy John surgery in the next couple of weeks,” Richards confirmed. “Just kind of have a little bit of peace of mind, just get the surgery and come back strong and be able to get back to pitching without worrying about anything.

“When you’re presented with some choices, you think about both sides,” he went on. “But for me, going into the doctor’s appointment, I kind of had made up my mind that if there was something going on related to my UCL, this time around I was going to get the surgery. Like I said, just move on. Just get the surgery and move forward and get back to the second half of my career hopefully and get back to doing what I do.”

UCL damage was first detected in Richards’ elbow back in May of 2016, but he opted for stem cell treatment instead of Tommy John surgery. He still missed the rest of the year however and made only 22 starts in the two seasons since (albeit mostly due to a nerve issue in his biceps).

Richards, who will be a free agent after the season, is already 30 years old and will probably be 32 by the time that he can make a meaningful contribution on the mound again. As for the Angels, they managed to avoid Tommy John for one of their star pitchers this season, but not this time around.

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.

Angels close to getting pitchers Heaney, Richards back

Andrew Heaney

The Los Angeles Angels could be close to getting some much needed pitching help just when they need it.

Both Andrew Heaney and Garrett Richards are making progress in their returns to the field, though Heaney is much closer to being able to help the club.

The OC Register’s Jeff Fletcher says Heaney has rejoined the Angels and is a bullpen session away from being placed into the team’s rotation.

Heaney has been out since undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. He pitched 27.2 innings in rehab and had a 2.60 ERA with 29 strikeouts against five walks. The 26-year-old southpaw went 6-4 with a 3.49 ERA in 2015 and could be a valuable addition to the team’s rotation.

Richards is further away from rejoining the team, but the club still is optimistic about his ability to help them. Richards has been out with a biceps injury since his first start of the season. He has thrown a few bullpen sessions and will next face some live hitters.

After that, Richards would need to go on a rehab assignment. If all of that goes well, he could be looking at a September return for the Angels.

The Angels entered play on Tuesday in the second wild-card spot in the AL. They lead the Twins and Royals by a half-game.

Garrett Richards lands on 60-day DL with cutaneous nerve irritation

Garrett Richards

Angels ace righty Garrett Richards may be looking at another lost season.

The club announced on Saturday that Richards will be placed on the 60-day disabled list after a recent test showed some improvement in biceps strength but irritation of the cutaneous nerve.

Richards, 28, has made only one start for the Angels this season and had to exit it after 4.2 innings due to an issue with the biceps in his pitching arm. It didn’t seem particularly serious at the time, but Richards was also limited to just six starts last season after tearing the UCL in his right elbow and going for stem cell treatment instead of Tommy John surgery. Now he will be sidelined until at least June, which is a massive gut punch for a 7-11 Angels team with a dangerously thin starting rotation.