Richards nearing return for Angels, feels 'ready to go'
Garrett Richards says he feels like he's "ready to go."
The Angels starter tossed seven innings, gave up four hits, two earned runs, struck out 12 and walked three batters Thursday in a minor league game in Arizona. He threw 97 pitches and finished the game feeling as good as he's felt at any point in his comeback from knee surgery last summer.
"I feel like I'm right where I need to be," Richards said. "The slider is there. I threw some good curveballs yesterday. I didn't throw any changeups but fastball command and slider, curveball were (good)."
The knee even was put to the test on a play in which he had to run across the diamond. A ball was hit down the right-field line, Richards says. His initial instinct was to run and cover first base but then had to reverse paths to the other side of the field to back up third base.
"That's about as far as a run as I'll have," he said. "Stopping and changing directions felt fine. I feel like if I were to have to pitch in a Major League game right now, I could do my duties 100 percent."
It is not known when Richards will return to the Angels' rotation. He will have at least one more rehab start Tuesday in Fresno for Triple-A Salt Lake.
In his first full season in the majors, Richards made quite an impact on the Angels rotation. He was 13-4 in 2014 with a 2.61 ERA. Richards had 164 strikeouts and 51 walks before suffering a torn patellar tendon in his left knee last August.