The Los Angeles Angels received solid production and bulk length from their starting pitching during the first week of the regular season, including a great showing in mop-up duty for lefty Tucker Davidson.
With multiple starting options heading into the year, Angels manager Phil Nevin discussed the possibility of utilizing a six-man rotation to accommodate extra rest and to provide innings for everyone. With Shohei Ohtani, Tyler Anderson, Patrick Sandoval, Reid Detmers, José Suarez and Davidson at the backend, there’s a bit of finesse required to make it work.
The Angels have received enough runs from their offense to allow for longer starts, but they’ve pitched to a collective 2.81 ERA in 32 innings over their first six games.
With Davidson in a swingman role, he could see increased work over the weekend and may be an option to start on Wednesday against the Washington Nationals, via Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
Davidson is a candidate to start next Wednesday. Nevin said if Davidson pitches this weekend against the Toronto Blue Jays, he could potentially still start next Wednesday, but with a more limited pitch count.
Davidson gave the pen rest with three innings of shutout work in the Angels’ 13-1 win over the Oakland Athletics this past Saturday, collecting three strikeouts, and earning the save.
Nevin will closely monitor Davidson in the coming days and if he’s needed in their home opening series with the Toronto Blue Jays, an abbreviated outing will be his only route to appearing on shorter rest.
Tucker Davidson took an offseason trip to Driveline
Davidson was included in the deal that sent Raisel Iglesias to the Atlanta Braves during last year’s trade deadline, but his transition to the Angels didn’t ignite much during the remainder of the season. With plenty of team control and no reason to cut ties, he and the club used the offseason to prepare him for an important year.
Still just 26 years old, Davidson endured about as bad of a season in 2022 that a starting pitcher can have in Major League Baseball, posting a 6.75 ERA, 5.79 FIP, and a 14.4% walk rate across 12 appearances (11 starts).
But a solid stretch could validate his hard work in the offseason.
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