The 2016 Los Angeles Angels are starting to resemble the 2014 Texas Rangers in terms of staggering injuries to their pitching staff, and the latest is a blow to their chances at unseating the Rangers at American League West champs.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Angels staff ace Garrett Richards has a torn ulnar collateral ligament and needs Tommy John surgery. The Los Angeles Times confirmed the report.
Richards was scratched Thursday from his start Friday, with the Angels citing fatigue as the reason. But an MRI on Thursday revealed a tear that is too significant to attempt rehabbing the injury without surgery.
Richards, according the Passan report, will seek a second opinion.
The Angels’ rotation is missing Andrew Heaney, who Passan said also has an UCL tear that he is trying to fix via rehab. Fellow left-hander C.J. Wilson is out with a shoulder injury.
In 2014, the Rangers opened the season without lefty Derek Holland, who had off-season knee surgery, and Colby Lewis, who had a hip resurfacing in 2013. Lefty Martin Perez would have Tommy John surgery in May, and staff ace Yu Darvish would miss the final seven weeks with an elbow injury that would require Tommy John surgery in March.
Passan is the author of the recently released book The Arm, which takes an in-depth look at the rash of UCL injuries.