Although the Los Angeles Angels fell to the Texas Rangers in a 5-0 loss on Wednesday, right-hander Griffin Canning turned in a solid outing with something to carry over into the offseason.
The 27-year-old hadn’t pitched in Major League Baseball since 2021 due to a stress fracture in his back, and with the bar of expectations relatively low, he delivered much higher than that. In 127 innings, he made 24 appearances (22 starts), posting a 4.32 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, with a .245 batting average allowed.
Canning finished much stronger in the second half of the season, carrying a 3.91 ERA, 3.26 FIP, and a 1.28 WHIP in eight starts since July 17. Because of his extended absence, he highlighted a lot of what the year meant to him, and how difficult it was to return, via Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“Obviously, I need to reflect on it and take some time, but I’m really proud of myself for not pitching for a year and a half and to come back and throw 127 innings,” Canning said. “It’s something I can be really proud of for myself. And I’m just really thankful for the people I had behind me this whole time and helped me get back to this point.”
He’s under team control for a handful of seasons ahead, which is great for the Angels in terms of stability. But looking back at his outings this year, Angels manager Phil Nevin discussed his overall value to the staff:
“There was one start in LA where there were a bunch of runs in an inning and there was one other start like that [against Houston] but other than that he had a heck of a year,” Nevin said. “He pitched deep into games and kept us in games all year. I’m really proud of him.”
Canning elevated his game in the second half, lowering his walks per nine to 2.38, while raising his strikeouts to 11.55 per nine. His offspeed became his main piece, grading out incredibly high with both his changeup and curveball.
Like Griffin Canning, Patrick Sandoval learned a lot in 2023
Keying in on Patrick Sandoval, the left-hander broke out last season, tossing 148.2 innings, amassing a 2.91 ERA across 27 starts. His 3.09 FIP was among the best in baseball, but he unfortunately lost a bit of his touch this year.
In 28 starts, Sandoval has carried a 4.11 ERA, 4.18 FIP with a 1.51 WHIP this season, and the rock in Nevin’s rotation. The 26-year-old spoke on his year, citing the positives amidst the bumpy patches.
Make sure to follow Angels Nation on Twitter for all the latest news and updates surrounding the Halos!