Angels News: Griffin Canning Likely To Start Wednesday Against Nationals
MLB: Spring Training-Cleveland Guardians at Los Angeles Angels
Mar 6, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Griffin Canning (47) throws against the Cleveland Guardians in the first inning at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

For a second consecutive season, the Los Angeles Angels are utilizing a six-man starting rotation in order to maximize Shohei Ohtani’s effectiveness on the mound, as he also is serving as the team’s everyday designated hitter.

To this point in the season, the Angels have not needed to use a sixth starter. However, that will change on Wednesday when they face the Washington Nationals in the finale of a three-game series.

Last week, it was reported that Tucker Davidson could make the spot start, contingent on him not pitching out of the bullpen. The left-hander indeed tossed three innings in Monday’s series opener and no longer is being considered to start.

According to Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group, the Angels are now leaning toward activating Griffin Canning from the 15-day injured list to start against the Nationals:

The Angels have not announced a starter for Wednesday, but it is likely they will activate right-hander Griffin Canning to make that start, which will be his first major league game since July 2021. Left-hander Tucker Davidson was in line to start, but the Angels needed him in relief on Monday night.

Canning pitched well in Spring Training after missing the entire 2022 season with a lingering back injury, but he was not included on the Angels Opening Day roster due to a groin issue.

The injury was not considered serious, and Canning has already made one rehab start for the Angels’ Single-A affiliate Inland Empire 66ers, allowing two runs (one earned) and collecting 10 strikeouts in five innings of work.

Griffin Canning Angels career

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 26-year-old 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.

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