Among the Los Angeles Angels players returning from injury this year is Griffin Canning, who missed all of 2022 due to a lingering back injury.
Canning has flashed potential in parts of three seasons with the Angels since being selected in the second round of the 2017 MLB Draft, but has not been able to put it all together thus far.
At just 26 years old, Canning still has plenty of time to turn his career around and is pitching with no restrictions in Spring Training. If all goes well, he could potentially earn the final spot in the Angels’ six-man starting rotation.
Canning recently threw his first live batting practice session of the spring and felt great coming out of it, per Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group:
Right-hander Griffin Canning threw his first live batting practice session of the spring…
“I’m feeling great,” Canning said. “That’s probably the best I’ve felt in a while. I’m pretty excited. That was my first live BP in a long time.”
Canning last pitched in a Major League game on August 2, 2021, when he allowed six runs on six hits in just 2.2 innings of work against the Baltimore Orioles. The right-hander finished the year with a 5-4 record, 5.60 ERA, 5.48 FIP and 1.48 WHIP in 62.2 innings pitched (14 games, 13 starts).
Canning enjoyed what was arguably his best season in 2020, when he posted a 3.99 ERA, 4.33 FIP and 1.37 WHIP over 56.1 innings pitched (11 starts), and won the Gold Glove Award for American League pitchers.
If Canning is able to make it all the way back, he would give the Angels another reliable option in a rotation that includes Shohei Ohtani, Tyler Anderson, Patrick Sandoval, José Suarez and Reid Detmers, among others.
Phil Nevin: Angels have multiple options for sixth starter
Angels manager Phil Nevin is happy with the team’s pitching depth and noted the team is considering multiple options for its sixth starter. In addition to Canning, other candidates for the final spot include Jaime Barría, Davis Daniel, Tucker Davidson, Chris Rodriguez and Chase Silseth.
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