Angels right-hander Garrett Richards will undergo Tommy John surgery, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group tweets. This means Richards will miss the remainder of the 2018 season and at the very least the majority of 2019.
An MRI recently revealed a tear in Richards' UCL, and he had been considering whether to undergo surgery or try to rehabilitate the injury.
More from Hoonstra:
Richards: "I'll be back. I'll be ready. Everything will be fine. I'll get through this. I'm going to be positive about this. I'm not going to dwell on the negative stuff. This is what was presented to me, and this is what I've got to deal with. Just try and tackle it."— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) July 12, 2018
This season, Richards, 30, has pitched to a 3.66 ERA and 2.56 K/BB ratio in 16 starts. For his career, he owns an ERA+ of 107 across parts of eight big-league seasons, all with the Angels. He's owed the balance of a $7.3 million salary for this season and is eligible for free agency this coming winter.
While the Angels' playoff hopes have cratered in the tough AL West, this is still a big blow. That's especially the case given that DH/RHP Shohei Ohtani might also not pitch again this season. Beyond that, if the Angels decided to pivot leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline and sell off some veteran contributors, then Richards likely would've been one of their biggest trade chips. Now that's obviously off the table.
As for Richards, he previously suffered a partially torn UCL back in 2016, but he was able to avoid Tommy John surgery thanks to stem cell and PRP injections (which Ohtani himself recently received for his elbow injury). This time, though, Richards will opt for a new ligament.