Inbox: Don't give up on Skaggs, Richards

Inbox: Don't give up on Skaggs, Richards

Is it time to give up on either Tyler Skaggs or Garrett Richards? Or both? @dsilva_714 via Twitter

I don't think so. While it's true that Skaggs and Richards have both missed significant chunks of the season due to injury for a second consecutive year, they are still talented pitchers, which makes them valuable commodities for the Angels. Skaggs had a minor setback in his return from an oblique injury, but he's still on track to rejoin the Halos' rotation in late July or early August and should help boost the pitching staff.

Richards, who has been sidelined with an irritated nerve in his right biceps, is also improving, though it's unclear if he'll be ready in time to pitch again this season. Even if he doesn't, Richards is under club control through the 2018 season, so it's unlikely the Angels would let him go. Richards will earn $6.85 million this season and will be due a raise this winter in his final year of arbitration, but even that figure promises to be lower than what a pitcher of his caliber would command on the open market. Though injuries have limited him to 39 1/3 innings over the last two years, I expect Richards to still be with the Angels next year.

Is a Wild Card berth a viable goal? @kidceej via Twitter

For now, yes. Given the sizeable lead the Astros have amassed in the American League West, the Angels' only real path to the playoffs would be through a Wild Card berth, and they're only three games behind the Rays for the second spot right now. Still, the Angels are currently viewed as postseason longshots, with a 13.9 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to Fangraphs. The Yankees, Rays, Rangers and Royals all have better playoff odds right now and figure to be the Halos' primary competition in the Wild Card race.

The next two and a half weeks will be crucial, but the Angels will have one major advantage over everyone else, which is that Mike Trout is set to come off the disabled list.

Submit a question to the Angels inbox

Any chance the Angels trade Cameron Maybin to clear room for Mike Trout on the roster and play Ben Revere and Eric Young Jr. in left field? @nmbaseball52 via Twitter

It's a possibility, but I think the timing is a little tricky. The postseason landscape in the AL is pretty murky right now, meaning most teams will wait until the last minute to define their position at the July 31 Non-waiver Trade Deadline. Trout is scheduled to return, which means the Angels will likely be forced to make a difficult roster decision between Revere and Young before getting a full sense of Maybin's potential trade market. It'll be interesting to see what the Angels decide to do.

Any chance on seeing Nate Smith in the Majors this year? akallday22 via Twitter

Yes, once he's healthy. Smith has made only one start for Triple-A Salt Lake this season due to injury, but he's pitched well in three rehab starts in the Arizona League, tossing 9 1/3 scoreless innings with two walks and 10 strikeouts. He should be a prime candidate for a callup once he's active and a little more stretched out.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.