Angels won't limit Garrett Richards

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Los Angeles Angels won't limit Garrett Richards' workload down the stretch this season, especially with the Oakland Athletics squarely in their sights.

Richards has emerged as Los Angeles' top pitcher this season but is on pace to eclipse 200 innings, well over his previous career high.

Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto, however, is not concerned about Richards' durability and said there are no plans to temporarily shut down the right-hander.

"Not at all," Dipoto said Monday, according to "Garrett has thrown from end to end in a season. His innings have not escalated to the point where they're 200-plus, but Garrett throws the ball as easily as anybody you'll ever see. It's not a violent delivery, it's not a violent package. He maintains velocity pretty easily."

Richards has been pivotal in the Angels' revival this season, going 11-2 with a 2.47 ERA in 20 starts. The 26-year-old pitched a career-high 145 innings last season and already is at 131 1/3 innings this year.

But the Angels (59-39) own the second-best record in the majors and entered Tuesday just two games behind first-place Oakland (61-37) in the AL West, so Dipoto won't be "phobic" about Richards' health while his team is in a division race.

"He's going to go out, and he's going to pitch," Dipoto said. "There will be time in the second half where we might be able to back up his pitch count on a given day or take him out. But we're not so phobic with innings that we're not going to pay attention to what the player is doing, or what his performance is telling us."

Richards has thrown at least seven innings in 14 of his 20 starts this season. He agreed with Dipoto's assessment, saying that he doesn't want to be shut down.

"The more consistent I stay with my routine, the better I feel," Richards told "Throwing 100 pitches every five days and getting my bullpen in between, that's when I feel my best.

"I want to pitch every fifth day. I wouldn't want to get shut down or have my innings conserved."

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