Let the battle begin for the Los Angeles Angels rotation.
With no real ace in the rotation right now, Richards is in place to become that guy for the Angels. He has hard fast fastball and a nasty curveball to compliment. He is entering his age 27 season and in baseball terms, that is right at the beginning of his prime. He is now a full year removed from a torn patellar tendon in his knee that ended his fantastic 2014 season early. The team took every precaution before letting him take the mound in a regular season game in 2015.
Richards earned run average was up just over a full run from the early season before but so were his numbers in every other important category. He pitched in 207.1 innings in 2015, 38.9 more than his previous most innings pitched. 176 strikeouts 12 more than the year before. He went 15-12 in 32 starts 7 more starts in a season than he had started previously. 15-12 isn’t the greatest record but wins and loses are the most overrated stat in baseball anyway.
Richards will most likely be the opening day starter, taking the honor away from teammate and the longest tenured Angel Jered Weaver. However, Scioscia will probably be the last manager in baseball to announce his opening day starter.
Next: the dean of the staff