Griffin Canning felt something in his elbow during yesterday’s game. He has an MRI scheduled. They will know more then. Joe Maddon admitted he is concerned. #Angels
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) February 27, 2020
Going into this season, starting pitching is still a major concern for the Angels. All offseason long, many expected the Angels to invest money into signing a free agent starting pitcher, most notably right-hander Gerrit Cole. Of course, Cole went onto sign with the New York Yankees. The Angels biggest offseason acquisition ended up being third baseman Anthony Rendon.
Addition of Dylan Bundy
Therefore, after making such a large investment in signing Rendon, the Angels supplemented their starting rotation with secondary options. For starters, the team made a trade for former Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Dylan Bundy. Bundy does have high potential and has a track record of staying healthy, but wasn’t necessarily that effective for the Orioles.
Over his five-year big league career, Bundy has a 4.67 ERA over 614.1 innings of work. In that span, Bundy has a cumulative fielding independent percentage (FIP) of 4.75 and a cumulative K/9 rate of 8.8. More recently, Bundy concluded last season with a 4.79 ERA over 30 starts for the Orioles. In those 30 starts, Bundy recorded 86 earned runs and 58 walks along with 162 strikeouts. All in all, the 2019 regular season resulted in an ERA+ value of 99 for the 27-year old right-hander.
Julio Teheran Joins the Angels Starting Rotation
Besides trading for Dylan Bundy, the Angels signed free agent right-hander Julio Teheran. Teheran, who is a former member of the Atlanta Braves, is yet another questionable arm for the Angels and their starting rotation. Teheran shines in the health department and making his start every fifth day, but the surface level numbers are a bit rough.
Over the span of last season, Teheran posted a 3.81 ERA over 174.2 innings of work. In that sample, Teheran recorded a 1.32 WHIP, a 4.66 FIP, and a K/9 rate of 8.3. That strikeouts-per-9 rate matched Teheran’s rate from the 2018 regular season. In addition, Teheran recorded the same amount of strikeouts last season (162) as he did during the 2018 season.
Griffin Canning’s Expected Production
With the addition of both Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran, Griffin Canning was penciled into the Angels fourth spot. However, Canning was viewed as a starting pitcher with a high amount of upside and someone that could be a potential front line starter in the near future.
The 23-year old right-hander was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Angels during the second round of the 2017 Draft. Since being drafted, Canning rose up quickly in the Angels farm system and really started to make a name for himself. In the minor leagues, Canning combined for a 3.27 ERA over 129.1 innings.
At the end of last April, Canning received the call-up to the big league squad. Canning ended up making 17 starts posting a 4.58 ERA over 90.1 innings with 96 strikeouts and an opponent batting average against of .235.
Once August rolled around, Canning was placed on the 10-Day Injured List with right elbow inflammation. The injury caused Canning to end up missing the remainder of the 2019 regular season.
Looking ahead to the coming season, the Angels were expecting Griffin Canning to contribute at a fairly high level. After all, Los Angeles likely viewed Canning as someone who could provide impact behind Andrew Heaney and the aforementioned Bundy and Teheran. However, with the news from today, that is not going to be the case. Rather, the organization might be without Canning for some time.
However, until the results of the MRI come out, no one knows for sure how much time Canning might end up missing. Regardless, if Canning does miss any amount of time, it could have a lingering effect on how the Angels starting rotation performs this year. The starting rotation was already a problem and without Canning, it might become an even bigger one.