MLB

Angels' top starter Garrett Richards needs Tommy John surgery

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Garrett Richards #43 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts during the sixth inning of the game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 25, 2015 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Matt Brown/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images)

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Garrett Richards #43 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts during the sixth inning of the game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 25, 2015 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Matt Brown/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Angels right-hander Garrett Richards has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow is expected to have season-ending Tommy John surgery, Yahoo Sports first reported Friday.

Source: Angels ace Garrett Richards has torn ulnar collateral ligament and is expected to need Tommy John surgery. https://t.co/wkbiUpTCl0

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 6, 2016

Source confirms: #Angels' Richards needs Tommy John surgery. First reported: @JeffPassan.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 6, 2016

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Richards, 27, is 1-3 with a 2.34 ERA and 34 strikeouts in six starts (34 2/3 innings) this season. He set career highs in wins (15), strikeouts (176) and innings pitched (207 1/3) in 2015.

On Thursday, the Angels announced Richards would miss his scheduled start Friday because of dehydration and fatigue. But the problem turned out to be much more severe.

His loss is a big blow to the Angels, whose rotation ranks 17th in the majors with a 4.45 ERA. Los Angeles is 13-15 and four games behind the AL West-leading Seattle Mariners.

In six major-league seasons, Richards is 40-32 with a 3.58 ERA.