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OC Register: Angels’ Garrett Richards has damaged elbow ligament, might need surgery

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ANAHEIM — Garrett Richards has a damaged ulnar collateral ligament, but no decision has been made yet as to whether he will have surgery, the Angels announced on Wednesday.

Richards, who was not available for comment on Wednesday, was given both surgical and non-surgical options to consider, the Angels said.

Richards left Tuesday’s start with right forearm irritation and he underwent an MRI exam on Wednesday.

Richards, 30, damaged his ulnar collateral ligament in May 2016 and was initially set to undergo Tommy John surgery. He sought further opinions and instead underwent stem-cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma injections, which allowed him to avoid surgery. He was pitching at 100 percent by instructional league in October 2016, which encouraged the Angels he would be fine in 2017.

Richards began the 2017 season in the rotation, but in his first game developed what would come to be diagnosed as a biceps nerve issue. Richards missed most of the year, before returning in September.

Richards insisted ever since that the nerve issue was not related to his UCL, which had been intact ever since the treatment in 2016.

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His only previous injury this year was a strained hamstring that cost him about three weeks. He was making his second start after that injury on Tuesday night.

Richards also suffered a season-ending knee injury while covering first in August 2014.

Richards is set to be a free agent at the end of this season.

More to come on this story.

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1 minute ago, Dochalo said:

just don't have a rotation.  whoever rings the bell gets to come in.  

Help Wanted: Young man with two arms who doesn't care if one of them falls off. Large monetary compensation and all travel expenses paid. Man must be willing to step up on the mound and pitch a baseball. 

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Time to implement the Rays "opener" strategy of having a reliever pitch the first two innings, but do it in every game?

Does the future of MLB include a regular "openers" portion of the pitching staff?  

Maybe three opener pitchers each pitching 54 x 2 = 108 innings on the season?

Five starters and four late innings guys joining them?     

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