Garrett Thomas Richards
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 215 lb.
- School University of Oklahoma
- High School Edmond Memorial High School
- Debut August 10, 2011
Pitcher Garrett Richards was taken as a supplemental 1st round pick in the 2009 amateur draft by the Los Angeles Angels. He was signed by scout Arnold Brathwaite and made his pro debut that summer for the Orem Owlz. he was in Class A ball in 2010 and spent 2011 in AA, with the Arkansas Travelers of the Texas League. He had a very good season there, going 12-2, 3.15 in 22 games.
Richards made his major league debut with the Angels on August 10, 2011, starting against the New York Yankees. He gave up 6 runs in 5 innings to be tagged with the loss. He pitched seven times for the Angels that season, going 0-2, 5.79. In 2012, he began the season back in the minor leagues, playing for the first time at the AAA level with the Salt Lake Bees in the Pacific Coast League. He made 10 starts, with a record of 5-2, 4.51, before being called back to Los Angeles when ace Jered Weaver was placed on the disabled list. After one scoreless inning of relief on May 30th, he started against the Seattle Mariners on June 5th and earned his first big league victory with a very solid performance: he gave up one run in 7 innings and struck out 8 in a 6-1 win.
Richards recorded his first career shutout on August 4, 2014 when he blanked the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-0; it was also the first complete game of his career and came in the middle of a breakout season. The win improved his record to 12-4. However, he suffered a serious knee injury in a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 20th; in the 2nd inning, he ran to cover first base to complete a potential double play, but collapsed just short of the base and lay on the ground in agony for ten minutes before being carted off the field. The injury ended his season with a record of 13-4, 2.61 in 26 starts. In 168 2/3 innings, he had struck out 164 batters in what was truly a breakout season.
On July 17, 2015, Richards recorded his second career shutout, a 3-0, two-hit win over the Boston Red Sox. It was also his 10th win of the year, as he showed no ill effects form the injury that had ended his previous season prematurely. He made 32 starts during the season, going 15-12, with a 3.65 ERA and pitching 207 1/3 innings. In 2016 however, he made 6 starts, with a 1-3, 2.34 record before being shut down in early May with an elbow injury. It seemed like Garrett would be forced to undergo Tommy John surgery but he chose instead to have a stem-cell therapy and a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right elbow. The treatment seemed to work, as Richards was ready to work without restrictions at the start of spring training in 2017. He made the team and took his first turn as a starter on April 5th, facing the Oakland A's. He pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings, but when he had to leave in the 5th, he was rubbing his elbow, giving the Angels a scare that he had re-injured it. However, he later explained that he had only experienced cramping in his biceps and had left as a precautionary measure. Still, he was placed on the disabled list a couple of days later, although again, the Angels stated that this was not because there was anything seriously wrong. However, that story did not hold for long, as on April 22nd, he was transferred to the sixty-day DL with what was described as a right biceps strain. He managed to come back on September 5th, by which time the Angels were in a race for a wild card spot even though they were starved for starting pitching. Facing the A's again, he retired the first seven men he faced and gave up 1 run in 3 1/3 innings in an encouraging performance. He ended up going 0-2, 2.28 in 6 games - all starts - logging 27 2/3 innings.
After those two largely lost seasons, Richards showed up in spring training in 2018 with apparently a clean bill of health. He made 16 starts, going 5-4, 3.66, but missed the second half of June, and after a couple of appearances in July it was learned that he had damaged the ulnar collateral nerve in his pitching elbow. He faced either an extended rest period and stem cell therapy, or another Tommy John surgery and decided on the latter, putting an end to his season.
- 15 Wins Seasons: 1 (2015)
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (2015)
- Maria Guardado: "Richards' UCL damaged again, MRI reveals: Angels righty weighing options, including Tommy John surgery", mlb.com, July 11, 2018.