Every team gets the occasional bite from “the injury bug”. For the Los Angeles Angels, it’s the injury tick, and it hasn’t stopped biting them for quite some time.
News came out this afternoon reporting that starting ace pitcher Garrett Richards has opted for Tommy John surgery, and will miss the remainder of the 2018 and entirety of the 2019 season.
Angels' Garrett Richards to undergo Tommy John surgery to repair torn UCL https://t.co/tuYWKZCHks
— CBS Sports MLB (@CBSSportsMLB) July 13, 2018
Richards has been no stranger to injuries in his career. He was shut down in 2014 with knee surgery, tore his UCL in 2016 and only pitched 6 games, was limited to less than 30 innings in 2017 due to bicep issues, and now will end his 2018 campaign just 76 innings in.
For the Angels and their fans, this is nothing new. Richards joins JC Ramirez, John Lamb, Blake Wood, and Kenyan Middleton as the 5th Angel to undergo TJ surgery this season. That’s excluding Shoehei Ohtani, whose dealt with UCL issues of his own, and although he has yet to opt for TJ surgery, he’s unlikely to step on the mound again this season.
Richards is now one of 21 Halos to hit the DL this season, and we haven’t even hit the trade deadline. Alex Meyer, Matt Shoemaker, Rene Rivera, Zack Cozart, and Jake Jewell have all landed on the 60 day DL for miscellaneous reasons. Other notable players to wind up on the 10 day DL this season include (but are not limited to) Andreelton Simmons, Tyler Skaggs, Ian Kinsler, and Nick Tropeano.
Charles Nagy, Angels head pitching coach, has been in LA for 3 years now. It’s a curious thing that Richards is the 10th pitcher in that timespan to see his season end because of a UCL strain. While no one individual coach, nor even an entire staff, can be blamed for each of the near 60 DL stints over the last 3 seasons, there may be some reevaluating coaches this season in LA, particularly in the pitching department.