Garrett Richards to undergo Tommy John, lost for the season
Richards, who was placed on the 10-day DL Wednesday after an MRI showed damage to his ulnar collateral ligament, informed the team he has opted to undergo the surgical treatment on his right arm Thursday. The surgery will take place July 24.
The 30-year-old was taken out of his start Tuesday night after just 2 2/3 innings when catcher Martin Maldonado recognized something was wrong in the middle of an at-bat. Maldonado indicated for manager Mike Scioscia and a trainer visit the mound, ending Richards’ night and his season.
Richards tore his UCL in 2016, but elected to undergo stem-cell procedures rather than Tommy John to fix it.
Richards start Tuesday was just his second since returning from a stint on the 10-day disabled list for a hamstring strain. Prior to that injury, he had been holding down the Halos No. 1 starter role with a 3.42 ERA to go along with 78 punch outs.
The SoCal native has been injury plagued throughout his career. In addition to his previous UCL tear and the hamstring strain, Richards suffered a torn left patellar tendon in 2014 and was off-and-on throughout last season with a lingering biceps issue.
Richards is the sixth Angels pitcher to sustain a UCL injury this season, joining JC Ramirez, Blake Wood, Keynan Middleton, Shohei Ohtani and John Lamb. Ohtani is the only to avoid Tommy John thus far, electing instead to see if his damage can be healed by platelet-rich plasma injections.
Richards, who has spent his entire eight-year career with the Halos, is a free agent after this season. His recovery time will likely cause his to miss most of the first half of next season.