Richards Could Be Piece Of Angels' 2013 Puzzle
LOS ANGELES—Righthander Garrett Richards
has a live arm and a raw but
impressive arsenal of pitches. But there is another asset that could
prove most valuable in his immediate future: He works cheap.
With big money committed to starters Jered Weaver
and C.J. Wilson
the possibility of more spending if the Angels are able to re-sign Zack
, Richards provides a minimum-wage piece for the team to plug
into its 2013 rotation, and the 24-year-old righthander knows it.
"I would think so," Richards said. "I'm just going to show up (at spring training) and be ready to go."
After getting his feet wet at the big league level in 2011, Richards, a
supplemental first-round pick in 2009, made a strong bid to open the
2012 season in the major league rotation, losing out to the more
experienced Jerome Williams
in a spring competition for the fifth
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Richards spent most of the year fine-tuning his
game in Triple-A and went 7-3, 4.21 with 65 strikeouts and 35 walks in
77 innings. He also went 4-3, 4.69 in nine starts and 21 relief
appearances with the Angels. Though his future is in the rotation,
Richards said pitching in relief in key situations as the Angels chased a
playoff spot helped his development.
"I got a lot more experience this year," he said. "It gave me a chance
to work through some tough situations and learn how to pitch in that
"I got my feet wet last year (2011) and now I'm starting to get more
comfortable pitching in tough situations. The game is slowing down for
The Angels may have to rebuild three-fifths of their rotation this
winter. They've already traded Ervin Santana
, and they were pursuing a
deal to move Dan Haren
and still had to re-sign Greinke. Richards could
be a key piece of that project.
"Garrett handled himself well at various times this season," general
manager Jerry Dipoto said. "He's got the pitch mix. He's got the
delivery. Obviously, we're still working through the adjustment phase at
the big-league level with Garrett. He's got all the weapons to be a
"It's a very important thing. If we can inject Garrett Richards into our
starting rotation, that's one 'Thumbs up' and it gives us some
flexibility to do some other things."
• The Angels signed infielder Angel Sanchez
to a minor league contract.
Sanchez, 29, hit .320/.390/.407 in 344 at-bats for Triple-A Oklahoma
City (Astros) this season, playing second, third and shortstop.
• The Angels hired former major league first baseman Paul Sorrento as
minor league hitting coordinator. Sorrento replaces Todd Takayoshi,
whose contract was not renewed following the 2012 season—his sixth on