Fantasy Baseball: Early Exit for Garrett Richards

Garrett Richards

Garrett Richards came into the season with a ton of question marks after dealing with an elbow injury last season. It seemed like he was destined to have Tommy John Surgery, which typically requires a year plus to recover and get back on the mound. However, Richards opted for stem cell therapy in hopes of a fast return to the mound.

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In his return to the mound Tuesday night Richards dazzled the Athletics through four inning flashing his impressive skill set. Not only was he hitting 97 seemingly with ease, he was snapping off devastating breaking balls that would frustrate hitters through the first four innings. He struck out four and walked only one during his outing giving his owners reason for optimism.

Unfortunately things started to go sideways in the 5th inning. He seemed to be laboring, giving up hard contact and allowing runners to reach base. Martin Maldonado came out to talk to Richards and almost immediately signaled to Manager Mike Scioscia that there was an issue.

This may be a small issue that owners shouldn’t worry about. He didn’t seem to be upset or majorly concerned when visting with his manager on the mound. He was also in seemingly good spirits after the game. 

This is also something someone says before finding out that Tommy John Surgery is in their future. As my colleague Damian Dabrowski always says, “Expect the worst.” I tend to lean with a slight more optimistic approach.

He was pitching well before leaving with the elbow issue. If all is well and he can make his next start, then there is still plenty of reason for optimism. I would be adding Richards in the 20% of leagues that he is currently available in. I would also monitor waiver wires for him, if his owners panic and cut bait. If worse news surfaces and he is out for an extended period of time then owners can move on.

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