The Los Angeles Angels entered the 2014 season with questions about their starting pitching staff beyond Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson, and they may have found an answer with Garrett Richards.
Through two starts this season, the 25-year-old has been masterful on the mound as he has a 0.75 ERA through 12.o innings pitched with 13 strikeouts, 1.00 WHIP and just four hits allowed. His last outing on Wednesday night against the Seattle Mariners was quite impressive as he threw seven scoreless innings with just one hit allowed.
Richards’ start to the season is an encouraging sign for the Halos, who are need of some pitching stability this year. Their starting rotation in 2013 resembled a merry-go-round and ranked in the bottom of the league in many important pitching categories. With that said, the right-hander’s solid play so far in the 2014 season could go a long way for the Angels if he keeps up his effectiveness throughout the year.
Entering his fourth season in the majors, it is Richards’ first year as a full-time starting pitcher. Prior to this season, he had struggled to pitch with any consistency as had an ERA above 4.00 in each of his first three years in the league.
Last season for the Halos, he had his best year in the majors as he posted a 4.16 ERA with a 7-8 record in 145.0 innings pitched. This included 17 starts spread out throughout the season with a bulk of them coming at the tail end of the year. Fast forward to now, and it appears that Richards has used that experience along with a solid spring training to help him get this level of play.
If he can continue his dominance or can at least be a reliable pitcher throughout the season, it will greatly help the Angels’ chances at making a legit push for the playoffs. Richards has the potential to make a big impact on his team’s ultimate success as the x-factor in the starting rotation.