Garrett Richards to debut Wednesday

For the second time this season, the Los Angeles Angels are plugging a rookie into their starting rotation.

Double-A right-hander Garrett Richards will join fellow rookie Tyler Chatwood on the Angels and make his major league debut Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium, the team announced Tuesday.

Richards (12-2) ranks second in the Texas League with a 3.03 ERA. In 141 innings, he has struck out 100 batters and he has cut way down on his walks, something that used to plague him.

Richards, 23, has a mid-90s fastball, a slider, a curveball and changeup.

The Angels debated between Richards and pitchers already on their roster, primarily left-hander Hisanori Takahashi, who shut out the Yankees over 12 innings in his two starts against them last season for the Mets. The Angels had a vacancy in their rotation because they moved Joel Pineiro to the bullpen after four straight poor outings. Ace Jered Weaver is serving a six-game suspension for throwing at Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila.

The Angels, who entered Tuesday just 1½ games behind the first-place Texas Rangers, are relying heavily on young players. Two-fifths of their starting rotation, their closer, Jordan Walden, and their leading power hitter, Mark Trumbo, are all rookies; their center fielder, Peter Bourjos, is in his first full season.

Mark Saxon covers the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com.