A wonderful Wednesday night of baseball -- both at the big league level and for the teens and tweens in Williamsport, Pennsylvania -- was a bit overshadowed by the knee injury suffered by Los Angeles Angels right-hander Garrett Richards at Fenway Park. Richards was covering a potential play at first base when his knee buckled and he cried out in pain. A few minutes later a cart took him off the field; later, manager Mike Scioscia called it a "significant injury." Undrafted in fantasy and one of the best values of the season, Richards entered Wednesday ranked sixth among starting pitchers and 19th among all options on the ESPN Player Rater (as of Thursday morning it's Nos. 8 and 30, respectively), but unfortunately, it's reasonable to expect he won't be pitching again for some time.
The Angels are lacking in quality organizational rotation depth, so this is potentially a major blow to the pitching staff, in addition to making many a fantasy owner quite sad. The Angels might have to turn to the likes of lefty Randy Wolf -- yes, that Randy Wolf, now 37 -- right-hander Chris Volstad and lefty Wade LeBlanc. Lefty Tyler Skaggs is already done for the season after Tommy John surgery. Matt Shoemaker and Hector Santiago are already in the rotation. Who knows, a trade could be made, but basically, fantasy owners shouldn't look at the Angels for Richards replacements. But there is so much depth out there, with myriad hurlers thriving and available in more than half of ESPN's standard leagues.