Richards (elbow) threw four scoreless innings in his final instructional league outing Thursday, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. The outing was ended before the final out in the fourth was recorded, but it was still an encouraging outing for Richards, who struck out five while allowing just three hits. There were fears that the former first-round pick would need to undergo Tommy John surgery after tearing his UCL in May, but Richards was able to reach 95 miles per hour with his fastball in the outing, and said he has "passed every test" in regards to the health of his elbow. This bodes well for Richards being able to begin the 2017 season as a part of the Angels' rotation.
Richards will face live hitters for the first time Wednesday since injuring his elbow in May, Pedro Richards continues to work to avoid Tommy John surgery. If all goes well Wednesday, he will move on to the instructional leagues next week in Arizona, and from there we'll be able to see if Richards can rejoin the Angels rotation in time for Opening Day or even spring training.
Richards (elbow) threw a 20-pitch bullpen session Saturday, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports. The mound session was Richards' first since he injured his elbow in early May. Afterward, Richards said that he has "no doubt in [his] mind" that he will avoid Tommy John surgery and pitch for the Angels next season. It sounds like he will face live hitters early next month then head off to pitch in the instructional league.
Richards (elbow) is slated to throw off of a mound Saturday, Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times reports. Richards resumed throwing last month, but this will be his first time pitching off of elevated ground. While he's already been ruled out for the remainder of 2016, he looks to be on track toward returning for the start of the 2017 campaign without much issue.
Richards (elbow) hopes to throw from a mound at some point next week or the following week, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Richards is making good progress in his recovery from a torn UCL, having resumed throwing in mid-August and already extending his long toss sessions to 120 feet. Richards will not pitch again for the Angels this season, but if things keep going as planned, it seems likely he will be able to stave off a surgical procedure that at this point would likely cost him the entire 2017 season.
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