What's buzzing:

Big League Stew

Angels ace Garrett Richards needs knee surgery, out 6-9 months

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

Garrett Richards' injured knee, it turns out, is as bad as it looked.

The Los Angeles Angels ace has a torn patella tendon in left knee, the team announced Thursday. It will require surgery and keep him out six to nine months. His season, obviously, is done and he could miss the start of 2015.

Richards was on the ground in agony Wednesday night after his knee buckled while racing to cover first base. It happened in the second inning of the Angels' game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Richards was eventually carried off the field, sent to the hospital, then flown back to L.A. on Thursday morning for an MRI.

The results have turned the Angels' week upside-down. It was all smiles earlier, when the Angels overtook the Oakland Athletics for first place in the AL West. They hadn't been alone in first since 2011. And now this. Their best pitcher, gone.

View photo

.
(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

The Angels wouldn't be in first right now if it weren't for Richards, who was having a breakout season at age 26. He's 13-4 with a 2.61 ERA. Before Wednesday's game, he was tied for third in the AL for wins and was fifth in ERA. If not for Felix Hernandez's completely absurd season on the mound, Richards would be a top-tier AL Cy Young candidate.

Richards wouldn't be an easy replacement for any team, but the Angels might have a tougher-than-usual time coping with the loss. A trade could be a possibility, because the pitcher cupboard is virtually empty in Anaheim. From Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com:

The Angels have already lost 23-year-old starter Tyler Skaggs to Tommy John surgery, and are thin on starting pitching in their farm system. Potential call-ups from Triple-A include lefty Wade LeBlanc (4.00 ERA in 21 starts), lefty Randy Wolf (5.26 ERA in 25 2/3 innings) and righty Chris Volstad (5.45 ERA in six starts). Another option could be lefty Michael Roth, who is 10-6 with a 2.82 ERA in 20 starts for Double-A Arkansas.

The A's and Angels start a three-game series Friday, with Oakland looking to chip away at the Angels' lead in the AL West. It stands at a game and a half right now. You can bet Angels fans would feel more comfortable with that lead if they knew Richards would be taking the mound again soon.

More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

- - - - - - -

Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

View Comments (32)
  • American Eaton sets decathlon world record

    American Eaton sets decathlon world record

    Olympic champion Ashton Eaton of the United States set a world record in the decathlon at the world athletics championships on Saturday. Eaton clocked four minutes 17.52 in the 1,500 meters to take his tally to 9,045 points after all 10 events, … More »

    Reuters - 7 minutes ago
  • Recovering Ibrahimovic in PSG squad for Monaco game

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic could make his first Ligue 1 appearance this season in Sunday's away game against Monaco after recovering from a knee injury. The Sweden striker, who missed the first three matches after spraining his knee in the pre-season … More »

    Reuters - 8 minutes ago
  • Brighton sign Dutch winger Manu

    Dutch winger Elvis Manu has joined English Championship side Brighton and Hove Albion from Feyenoord, the clubs said on Saturday. The 22-year-old winger, who still had two years to run on his contract with the Rotterdam-based team, has signed a … More »

    Reuters - 10 minutes ago
  • Colombia drop Falcao, Cuadrado for Peru friendly in U.S

    Colombia drop Falcao, Cuadrado for Peru friendly in U.S

    Coach Jose Pekerman has dropped Chelsea striker Radamel Falcao and Juventus midfielder Juan Cuadrado as he looks to breathe new life into Colombia’s team for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Pekerman, whose side failed to get past the Copa America … More »

    Reuters - 11 minutes ago
  • Canada's Damian Warner races to world silver medal in decathlon

    BEIJING, China - Canada's Damian Warner has won the silver medal in decathlon at the world track and field championships. … More »

    The Canadian Press - 13 minutes ago