The Los Angeles Angels starting pitching is middle of the pack in MLB with a 3.71 collective ERA in 80 innings pitched and they are also top-10 in the league in strikeouts and in hits allowed. This gives them an upgrade from their previous seasons and with their early success, they could get reinforcements in the form of Griffin Canning soon.
The Angels’ main concern is the back end of their rotation and their lack of depth, which could lead to trouble down the stretch. It is also important to have quality depth arms this season due to the short Spring Training.
Canning was supposed to be a bright spot for the Angels last season, but after a demotion to Triple-A late in the season, he suffered a season ending injury that halted any shot at a return to MLB.
But he has rehabbed his way back from a stress reaction in his lower back, and says he is feeling very good, via Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
Canning said he hasn’t felt this healthy throwing a baseball in “a couple years, honestly.”
“Everybody’s dealing with (health) stuff,” Canning said. “You don’t realize it until you feel really healthy, which is how I’m feeling now. I’m getting a better understanding of how I need to prepare my body, what feels good, what’s like compensating and pitching through stuff – staying consistent with everything.”
After throwing a bullpen session two weeks ago, Canning maintains confidence that he will progress his way to facing live hitters.
In 2020, Canning had his best season in MLB, posting a 3.99 ERA, but regressed in 2021 going 5-4 in 13 starts and 14 total appearances with an ERA of 5.60, a WHIP of 1.484, an ERA+ of 80. He also allowed 65 hits and 14 home runs in just 62.2 innings.
His contributions might not be incredibly valuable if he doesn’t build on his 2020 season, but the club’s need for depth is something that remains and Canning could help fill that need.
Another young Angels arm on the mend
The Angels have recently benefitted from contributions at the big league level by former top prospects thanks to Reid Detmers, Jo Adell, and Brandon Marsh. Unfortunately, top pitching prospect Sam Bachman has a ways to go before he can join them.
In the 2021 MLB Draft, the Angels selected Bachman in the first round, ninth overall. He made his debut in High-A at 21 years old and posted a 1.69 ERA, a 0.656 WHIP, and an 11.0 K/BB in 10.2 IP.
Bachman finished the season at No. 87 on MLB’s Top-100 prospect list because of his performance. He entered the 2022 season as the Angels’ No. 2 prospect, but has moved to first overall with Detmers pitching at the Major League level.
However, Bachman suffered an injury late in Spring Training that kept him sidelined without a definitive timeline.
Make sure to follow Angels Nation on Twitter for all the latest news and updates surrounding the Halos!