The MLB All-Star break is weeks away, Halo Hangout will be handing out their midseason grades on how the LA Angels players have done thus far.
The LA Angels are currently 43-41 and sit 11.5 games back of the Houston Astros in the AL West. While the team struggles to score runs and suffers from a myriad of injuries, their starting pitching staff has boded well.
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One pitcher leading the way for the Angels’ pitching staff is Garrett Richards. The former first-round pick has pitched well so far. In 68.1 innings pitched, his ERA is 3.42 while his WHIP is 1.288. Also, Richards is averaging 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings which is a career-high for him. Thankfully, Richards has surpassed his season totals for innings pitched in 2016 and 2017 combined, 62.1, and looks to pitch over 100 innings for the first time since 2015.
Unfortunately, Richards also leads the team in wild pitches,15, and already has 32 walks on the season. Besides that, Richards is also currently on the 10-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain. But, it is a sigh of relief for the Angels because it does not look to be season ending.
The so-called “ace” of the staff has never truly lived up to the hype. Besides having a breakout season in 2014, where he sported a 2.61 ERA in 168.2 innings pitched, Richards has struggled to stay healthy. When on the mound, his career ERA sits at 3.52 which is not the shutdown ace fans are looking for. However, the former Oklahoma Sooner has definitely cemented himself into the Angels’ starting rotation.
Richards in fact has pitched well so far. However, because Tyler Skaggs is having a breakout season, it seems Richards has lost his title of ace. Richards’ grade also goes down because of his hamstring injury and inability to stay healthy. Luckily, Richards is already rehabbing his hamstring and should be joining the staff relatively soon.