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Angels tab Richards for Opening Day start

Club has not announced Ohtani's pitching debut
Special to MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- Right-hander Garrett Richards has been named the Angels' Opening Day starter vs. the A's on Thursday, manager Mike Scioscia confirmed Monday. Left-hander Tyler Skaggs will get the ball on Friday.

The Angels' skipper has not yet set a date for Shohei Ohtani to make his first regular-season start. With a six-man rotation in the works, the Angels could actually wait until April 3 before getting Ohtani on the mound, although they could go with five pitchers the first time through the rotation.

LOS ANGELES -- Right-hander Garrett Richards has been named the Angels' Opening Day starter vs. the A's on Thursday, manager Mike Scioscia confirmed Monday. Left-hander Tyler Skaggs will get the ball on Friday.

The Angels' skipper has not yet set a date for Shohei Ohtani to make his first regular-season start. With a six-man rotation in the works, the Angels could actually wait until April 3 before getting Ohtani on the mound, although they could go with five pitchers the first time through the rotation.

Richards threw a combined 62 1/3 innings over the past two seasons as he dealt with arm injuries, but he is fully healthy entering 2018. The 29-year-old struck out 14 batters and recorded a 2.84 ERA in 12 1/3 frames in Spring Training.

"I think Garrett showed, first of all, that he is totally healthy and ready to go," Scioscia said. "His velocity is there, his movement is there, his breaking pitches are there. One of his last couple of outings pitches got away from him at times where his command wasn't what we know it could be, but he had a great spring and he's ready to go."

Video: 30 Clubs in 30 Days: Richards on staying healthy

Skaggs, 26, went 2-6 with a 4.55 ERA in 16 starts for the Angels last season. The southpaw has struggled a bit this spring, allowing 11 earned runs in 11 innings.

Scioscia says he plans to wait until Wednesday before naming his starters for the third and fourth games of the season this weekend at Oakland. Ohtani did throw 85 pitches in an intrasquad game at Arizona on Saturday and would be fully rested if Scioscia wanted to use the right-hander in the Bay Area.

A lack of rotation health has hurt the Angels early over the past two seasons.

"The last two years, we lost our whole starting rotation within the first month of both seasons and that's tough to overcome," Scioscia said. "I think we have more depth. I think there are unique things as we get into the season and get our six-man rotation together that are going to help us."

Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com.

Los Angeles Angels, Garrett Richards