Angels News: Griffin Canning Had ‘Fun’ In First MLB Start Since 2021 Season
MLB: Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Angels
Apr 12, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Griffin Canning (47) throws against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels improved to 7-5 after earning a 3-2 win over the Washington Nationals in the rubber match of a three-game series at Angel Stadium. The matchup was notable in that Griffin Canning started in his first MLB game since the 2021 season.

Prior to the series finale, the Angels activated the right-hander off the 15-day injured list and optioned Andrew Wantz to Triple-A Salt Lake as the corresponding move. Canning was considered the favorite to make the spot start after Tucker Davidson pitched in relief on Monday.

Canning made the most of his opportunity as he allowed two runs on five hits in five innings of work and struck out four batters. After the game, the 26-year-old revealed he had a good time being back on a Major League mound, per Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group:

“It was fun,” Canning said. “Obviously it was just fun to get back out there and compete and do what I love and do what I can to help the team win.”

Angels manager Phil Nevin was pleased with Canning’s outing and congratulated him afterward:

“I’m really happy for him,” Manager Phil Nevin said. “You could see it on his face. I told him congrats and welcome back. It was cool.”

Canning appreciated his family and friends being in attendance for his first MLB start in nearly two years:

“Going back out there and seeing my family and stuff and kind of the people who have stuck with me through this process is the most rewarding thing,” Canning said. “Just seeing them, just knowing they have my back and they’re really rooting for me too.”

As the Angels utilize a six-man rotation, Nevin said Canning will make at least one more start, which will likely come next week against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

Griffin Canning altered training regimen to aid return to Angels

After a long road back from a stress fracture in his back that cost him nearly two years, Canning changed his training regimen to take better care of his body, and started incorporating pilates into his routine.

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