Garrett Richards will meet the Angels when they arrive in Houston on Wednesday night, but Manager Mike Scioscia wasn’t ready to make a firm commitment to the right-hander pitching Sunday against the Astros.
Richards, in the final stage of his recovery from left-knee surgery, allowed four earned runs and seven hits, including a homer, in five innings for triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday night, striking out five and walking four at Fresno.
The right-hander threw 91 pitches, 57 for strikes, and his fastball was clocked at 93-94 mph. Scioscia said Richards also fielded a bunt and covered first base on a grounder to the right side, the same play he ruptured his patellar tendon on in Fenway Park in August.
“His stuff looked good,” Scioscia said. “I think his command maybe wasn’t as crisp at some points, but he moved well. I think he felt good. We’ll evaluate him when he gets here and see what the next step will be.”
The hard-throwing Richards, who went 13-4 with a 2.61 earned-run average last season, could return to the Angels' rotation as early as Sunday in Houston. The Angels could also give him an extra day or two of rest and pitch him Monday or Tuesday night in Anaheim.
The Angels added some short-term depth to their bullpen before Wednesday’s game against the Texas Rangers when they recalled left-hander Adam Wilk from Salt Lake to replace Drew Rucinski, who was optioned to triple-A after Tuesday night’s game.
Wilk, 27, a former Cypress High School standout, pitched in eight games for the Detroit Tigers in 2011 and 2012 but spent 2013 in South Korea. He spent 2014 at Indianapolis, the triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, before signing as a minor league free agent with the Angels in December.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Wilk, the Angels put pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, on the 60-day disabled list.