Welcome to Pickup of the Day, where every weekday we'll pick an under-the-radar player whose immediate value is on the rise. The idea here is to identify a starter who can give you some solid innings off the scrap heap, a talented backup who's been given a chance because of a starter's injury, an unheralded regular with a favorable matchup, or a potential breakout player who's starting to put it together. Unlike regular waiver-wire advice, Pickup of the Day is geared more towards interim success, but hopefully we'll have the intuition to help you snag a waiver-wire gem a few times this season.
We haven't seen Garrett Richards on a major league mound since early April, when he exited his first start of the season with a nerve issue in his right biceps muscle. He's on the mend now, though, and reportedly could rejoin the Angels' rotation as soon as Monday. Richards threw two scoreless innings for Triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday and touched 98 mph on the radar gun, so it appears his arm has bounced back. He's obviously a wild card in terms of what we can expect from a guy after such a long layoff, and don't forget that he's also pitching through a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. That said, Richards posted a 3.11 ERA and 374/142 K/BB ratio over 410 2/3 innings from 2014-16. As long as he's able to take the bump, he's worth a shot in fantasy leagues.