Richards is en­cour­aged by throw­ing 20 pitches

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Pe­dro Moura pe­dro.moura@la­times.com

Gar­rett Richards dressed in full uni­form Fri­day af­ter­noon and did what he had not done for four months: He stepped on top of a mound and threw. He threw 20 pitches and af­ter­ward vowed to keep do­ing it un­til it got him into a game for the An­gels in 2017.

“I don’t have a doubt that I will pitch for this team this year,” Richards said. “I will get in a reg­u­lar-sea­son game at some point this year. I’m con­fi­dent in that. When­ever that is, I don’t know.”

Richards, lim­ited to one April start be­cause of nerve ir­ri­ta­tion in his right bi­ceps, is short on time to build up his arm strength. He un­der­stands that, as he drew a par­al­lel be­tween Fri­day and pitch­ers and catch­ers re­port­ing to spring train­ing.

“I feel like I just went through a whole off­sea­son of train­ing, I took my phys­i­cal yes­ter­day, and to­day is the first day,” he said. “But my arm def­i­nitely feels like it’s in shape, so I’m not wor­ried about that.”

Richards agreed with man­ager Mike Scios­cia, who said ear­lier this week that the team views the right-han­der ex­clu­sively as a start­ing pitcher. Re­turn­ing as a re­liever is not on the ta­ble, but Richards left the pos­si­bil­ity more open than Scios­cia did.

“That’ll prob­a­bly be some­thing that we de­cide when it gets closer,” the 29-year-old right-han­der said. “If the next cou­ple of weeks go per­fectly fine, I don’t see why I can’t get back out there be­gin­ning of Septem­ber, end of Au­gust, some­where in there. It’s not like I’ve just been sit­ting around for the last three months.”

As he of­ten does, Scios­cia cau­tioned that Richards was still tak­ing baby steps in his re­cov­ery.

“There are some sig­nif­i­cant hur­dles that a player in Gar­rett’s po­si­tion right now needs to rise above,” Scios­cia said. “He has the po­ten­tial to.”

Shoe­maker up­date

While throw­ing his sec­ond bullpen ses­sion of the week Fri­day, right-han­der Matt Shoe­maker felt a twinge in his fore­arm, where he has been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a nerve syn­drome for sev­eral weeks.

A team doc­tor de­ter­mined Shoe­maker has com­pli­ca­tions re­lated to that syn­drome in the ra­dial nerve in his fore­arm, the An­gels later an­nounced. Surgery is an op­tion, they said. Shoe­maker’s sea­son ap­pears over.

He has not pitched in a ma­jor league game since June 14, and in any game since July 4, when the fore­arm both­ered him dur­ing a mi­nor league re­hab as­sign­ment.

Short hops

The An­gels des­ig­nated out­fielder Ra­mon Flores for as­sign­ment and re­called right-han­der Daniel Wright from triple-A Salt Lake to pro­vide bullpen cov­er­age. They will make an­other move Satur­day to ac­com­mo­date their ac­ti­va­tion of left-han­der Tyler Sk­aggs, the game’s sched­uled starter. … In the first game of his re­hab as­sign­ment, Cameron May­bin played seven in­nings in left field for Salt Lake. He had two hits and a stolen base. He’s sched­uled to play again Satur­day and likely be ac­ti­vated Mon­day. “It’s that time of year where it’s kind of gotta be a quick turn­around,” he told re­porters in Salt Lake City.

Shoe­maker

Richards

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