Richards & Skaggs Struggle in Debuts.

Updated: March 6, 2017

There’s no doubt that both Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs are extremely important to the Angels‘ hopes of contending this season; if the Angels are to have a plus rotation, both of those pitchers will need to be healthy and pitching well. Both players made their respective Spring Training debuts this season, and neither one did much to get excited about, Skaggs in particular.

Skaggs started on Saturday, and failed to make it through the first inning, allowing three runs and four walks. At one point, Skaggs walked three straight batters, and you have to be a little bit worried as it came against the White Sox, who on a good day will struggle to field a competitive lineup and today didn’t even have most of their projected starters. Skaggs was victimized by another Yunel Escobar error, (at least he’s already in mid-season form!) but the truth is that Skaggs struggled mightily. Skaggs is still fighting for a spot in the rotation, technically, and while it is just his first start, he’ll need to start showing what he’s capable of sooner rather than later.

Richards started on Sunday, and just the fact that he pitched two innings and threw thirty-two pitches and still felt good is a win in itself. The results for Richards don’t really matter so much at this point, as him making through a healthy Spring is the most important thing. It shouldn’t be ignored, though, that Richards was very wild, hitting a batter and throwing two wild pitches. You could say they were nerves, and it’s not totally out of the ordinary for a pitcher to be wild at this point in Spring as they nail down their delivery and work to get into game shape, but Richards has been wild in his career and it’s something he’ll have to address if he wants to take the next step.

It’s just one Spring Training game, so it’s not time to worry about either one just yet. This time of year is for fine-tuning your game and getting everything in sync and ready to go, and sometimes you just don’t need to worry about the results and worry more about how you’re feeling and what you’re doing. While both starters definitely showed some things that may be cause for concern if the season were just about to start or had just began, at this point their stat line is not as important as how their arms felt or where they’re at mentally, and both pitchers felt positive about where they’re at and where they’ll be once the season starts. The Angels better hope it’s just another step in the process of both of these pitchers reaching their lofty potential and not a sign of things to come.


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