Los Angeles Angels right-handed starting pitcher Garrett Richards has a torn right ulnar collateral ligament and will need Tommy John surgery, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
The 27-year-old was scratched from Friday's start against the Tampa Bay Rays due to fatigue and dehydration, as reported by Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Cory Rasmus will get the start in his place. Rasmus has pitched 112.2 career innings, mostly out of the bullpen.
Los Angeles is now without Richards, Andrew Heaney, C.J. Wilson and closer Huston Street. The pitching staff is losing depth quickly. The team will probably recall right-hander Matt Shoemaker, who is currently pitching for Triple-A Salt Lake.
Heaney, who was diagnosed with a strained flexor muscle, should return in July, while Wilson could make his way to the mound in mid-June. Tyler Skaggs still has not returned from his UCL surgery in August 2014. Skaggs was pitching in the minors on a rehabilitation assignment, but was shut down due to biceps tendonitis last week.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports also reported that Heaney has a damaged ulnar collateral ligament, but will rehab to try and avoid Tommy John surgery.
The former first round pick by the Angels in the 2009 MLB Draft, Richards, is only signed through 2016 on a one-year, $6.43 million deal, so a long term concern is not entirely in mind for Los Angeles. Richards has gone 1-3 with a 2.34 ERA across six games (34.2 innings) to start the 2016 season.
Across his major league career, Richards owns a 40-32 record with a 3.58 ERA in 640.2 innings. The righty throws extremely hard, as a matter of fact he owned a league-high in wild pitches with 22 in 2014 and 17 in 2015. Nevertheless, his 1.260 WHIP is very valuable.
Richards will look at a second opinion in the following days. The tear might be too much to rehabilitate. Regardless, losing Richards is a huge hit for the Angels, who are 13-15 and four games back of the Seattle Mariners for first place in the American League West.