A bright spot for the Los Angeles Angels was the emergence of Griffin Canning after his fantastic performance during Cactus League play, however, his progress is halted for the moment after a snag late in camp.
After missing nearly two full years with a back injury, Canning made his return to the team with the goal to have an impact on the roster. His long-awaited return was accompanied by 13.2 innings pitched to the tune of a 1.32 ERA, including 13 punchouts.
His four starts prior to the regular season were enough to put him in high consideration for the sixth spot in the starting rotation, but he’ll begin the season on the injured list due to a groin issue suffered late in camp, which opened the door for Tucker Davidson, via Erica Weston of Bally Sports:
Tucker Davidson will be on the team, per Nevin. He will pitch out of the pen first.
Canning felt something in his groin the other day so they’ll keep an eye on that.
— Erica Weston (@EricaLWeston) March 29, 2023
He expressed optimism around his return, mainly that his feel for the game was returning, and feeling comfortable was his main goal early on. With Canning out, Davidson should see at least a few appearances, but surely won’t have the same upside.
Davidson was brought over from the Atlanta Braves as a throw-in piece in the deal that sent closer Raisel Iglesias back to the Angels alongside Jesse Chavez. The left-hander struggled after the trade, posting a 6.87 ERA in 36.2 innings with a .271 batting average allowed.
Although there isn’t much to love about him, Davidson provides a long-relief option for manager Phil Nevin and can provide some length when needed.
Angels reliever Carlos Estévez not concerned over Spring Training numbers
Minasian inking Carlos Estévez to a $6.5m AAV contract hints that the club would prefer him to close, and after a second half in which he pitched like a top-five reliever, he’s justified in his belief.
Unfortunately for Estévez, he’s posted a 12.71 ERA in seven appearances (5.2 innings pitched) this spring, allowing 10 walks with just eight total strikeouts. The right-hander has struggled, but the team isn’t overly concerned.
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