Garrett Richards' 2018 season has come to an end.
The Los Angeles Angels right-hander has opted to undergo Tommy John surgery in order to repair damage to his ulnar collateral ligament, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group.
The procedure will likely be performed on July 24 by Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
The timing of his injury and the surgery likely means that Richards won't be seen on a big-league mound for quite some time, as he told Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic that he's now aiming to return to the majors in 2020.
Richards was forced to leave his most recent start against the Mariners on Tuesday due to what was initially termed as right forearm irritation. Tests ultimately showed damage to his ulnar collateral ligament, necessitating the surgery.
This isn't the first time that Richards has dealt with elbow trouble. After he sustained a similar UCL injury during the 2016 season, he opted to forego the traditional route of Tommy John surgery in favor of a series of platelet-rich plasma injections. He was beset by a multitude of injuries during the 2016 and 2017 campaigns that limited him to just 12 starts.
Richards made 16 starts for the Angels in 2018, posting a 3.66 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 87 strikeouts, and an MLB-high 15 wild pitches over 76 1/3 innings. The 30-year-old is set to become a free agent at season's end.
Losing Richards for the rest of the year is yet another blow for the injury-ravaged Angels. Richards is the fifth Angels pitcher to need Tommy John surgery this year; all told, they currently have 10 pitchers on the disabled list, including six starters. While two-way threat Shohei Ohtani is active as a hitter, he's currently unable to pitch due to an elbow injury of his own.