Garrett Richards Is A Key To The Angels in 2013

By Jason Evans

Garrett Richards may be a key to the Angels 2013 success. Whether it’s as a starter or a reliever, or trade bait, he’s going to be counted on to have some value to the organization. Sound crazy? Well, it really isn’t.

September 19, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Garrett Richards (43) pitches in the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Right now the Angels rotation for 2013 is Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and three blank spots. Richards, if still on the team is going to fill one of those spots near the back end of that rotation. Richards ERA was over a run higher as a reliever than as a starter. Richards only threw 148 innings this year between the majors and the minors, so an innings limit may be a little bit of a concern moving forward.

The Angels no doubt want to Zack Greinke to return, but when he hits the market, and you know he probably will, all bets are off. To get Greinke, they had to give up two of their pitching prospects in Ariel Pena and Johnny Hellweg to do so which compromised their pitching depth in the upper levels of the system. It sounds like the options on Dan Haren and Ervin Santana won’t be picked up which creates the other two holes.

They could use Richards and/or Peter Bourjos and/or Hank Conger to go out and get a proven starting pitcher if they want to. The question is will they?

The best case scenerio is Greinke re-signs, they acquire another starting pitcher whether through free agency or trade, and Richards is the fifth starter. Whether he’s with the team or not, Richards is going to be a player to watch for 2013.