Is There a Cause for Concern with Richards and Skaggs?

Updated: April 6, 2017

We knew we would be holding our breath as Garrett Richards took the mound for the first time for the Angels. Every pitch was wrought with worry. Would his elbow hold up? Could he make it through this whole season pitching like an ace? Through the first four innings, it was all good. Then cam catcher Martin Maldonado jogging out to the mound and gesturing for someone to come and tend to Richards. Panic time. After all was said and done, it was apparently nothing more than a biceps cramp. Richards was in good spirits, saying that there was no reason for concern.

Well, given Richards’ recent history, until he makes his way through a start or two unscathed, there will be worry. Richards is extremely important to our chances of contending, and if he’s going to be forced into the Tommy John surgery he’s avoided up to this point, it’s terrible news for this organization. The Angels need Richards healthy and pitching well, this year and in the future. Hopefully, this is a minor injury and Richards is ready to roll for his next start. Once he’s on the mound again, the worry will subside and we can breathe again. Until then, our fingers are crossed.

For Skaggs, he didn’t pitch particularly poor today. He even flashed some signs of dominance at times. In the end, though, he gave up five runs, four of them in one inning, and lost the game. That’s been the story so far for Skaggs, who has failed to pitch up to his potential consistently enough. If he could harness that stuff consistently, you see the signs of a solid number two starter there. There are even flashes of dominance that reach close to ace-level. He may never be consistently that good, but some positive consistency would be welcome for this Halos’ team that desperately needs it.

So, is there cause for concern? For Skaggs, not so much. It’s one start, and there were at least some positives to take from it and build upon. He’ll be worth keeping an eye on going forward, but for now we’ll reserve any concern until he gets hurt or fails to string together solid starts. For Richards, the short answer is yes. Until he puts together multiple healthy starts, the cloud of a possible injury will linger over every pitch he throws. Every pitch he throws could be the last pitch he throws for close to two full seasons, so when he leaves a start early, you’re concerned. The good news was that Richards pitched well, all things considered. If this is just a minor cramp, then the concern will let up. If not, then it’s bad news.

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