Tucker Davidson is still trying to prove he has a role in the future of the Los Angeles Angels. He was the team’s desired acquisition in the trade that sent Raisel Iglesias to the Atlanta Braves, but it was well known that he had some work to do.
With the Angels out of playoff contention, interim manager Phil Nevin made it clear that Davidson would get all the opportunities he’ll need. In another one of those chances on Sunday against the Houston Astros, Davidson showed a largely mixed bag.
On one hand, Davidson pitched into the seventh inning, and recorded 19 outs on only 88 pitches. On the other hand, he gave up seven earned runs, including five in the second inning. The outing increased Davidson’s ERA to 6.39 since being acquired by the Angels.
Nevin spoke about what he’s seen from Davidson and why he still has faith that there is something worth developing in his game, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“Flashes of really good,” Nevin said. “You see something there. A lot of potential. I like the stuff. To pitch into the seventh today was big, hot day like it was. I think each time out has been a learning experience for him. It’s gotten better.”
Davidson was more disappointed in his second-inning meltdown than Nevin, and knows that innings like that can’t happen if he wants to continue pitching at the big league level.
“When I gave up that homer in the second, it needs to stop there,” Davidson said. “That’s one of the things I need to continue to learn.”
Relatively speaking, just making it to the seventh after giving up five runs in the second is an accomplishment. To rebound and throw four scoreless frames after giving up five runs is a difficult task. He even retired 14 of 15 batters during that stretch.
Part of this had to do with a nasty changeup that Angels pitching coaches have been trying to get Davidson to throw more often. On Sunday, he threw 10 of them, four of which were swung on. Three of those four swings resulted in an out.
Davidson has another month of the 2022 season to show that he can be a legitimate part of their 2023 plans. The Angels supposedly plan to contend, and if they do, it would be hard to have a pitcher with an ERA in the 6.00-range in the rotation.
Mickey Moniak could return soon
Another trade deadline acquisition, Mickey Moniak, could be making his return to the lineup sometime soon. He is progressing well through the stages of recovery from a fractured finger, and could be facing live pitching as soon as this week.