Earlier this month, when the LA Angels first placed Griffin Canning on the Injured List with elbow inflammation, I wrote an article about why they need to shut him down. I didn’t publish it because I believed I was overreacting. This is that article in its original, exact writing, and I’m posting in now due to him being placed back on the IL.
In a trio of injury updates LA Angels fans woke up to on Sunday morning, the one that was all too similar for Halo fans was Griffin Canning’s.
The LA Angels’ rookie hurler was placed on the Injured List with elbow inflammation in his throwing arm. This is struck a certain nerve, as it seems like every promising pitcher to step on the mound for the Halos has had the same diagnosis at some point.
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And every Angels fan will tell you, it usually doesn’t end well for their pitchers. Whether it’s Tommy John surgery, stem cell therapy, or extensive rehab, when an Angels pitcher has elbow inflammation, it never seems to go away.
That’s why Billy Eppler and the front office need to make a decision for the future. If this was two weeks ago, when the Angels were three games out of a wild card spot and in contention, then maybe I’d feel different.
But that’s not the case, and the Angels need to shut down Griffin Canning for the remainder of the 2019 season.
With about 50 games to go, one could say those ten starts Canning could make would be great experience for the 23-year old. And while that is true, Canning could also be pushed further than he can handle and very well end up right back on the IL with more inflammation or another related injury.
While reports of the elbow inflammation were accompanied by assurance that there is no UCL damage or structural damage, a large part of the Angels’ future rests with how Canning develops. And a large part of his development will be halted if this injury gets any worse.
Who knows, maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe the seemingly endless list of Angels whose extensive injury histories have started with elbow inflammation or making me skeptical about Canning’s status. However, two things are for certain.
For one, the Angels are not making the playoffs this season barring one of the most miraculous runs in MLB history. Second, the Angels aren’t contending anytime soon unless Griffin Canning is a mainstay in their rotation.
In addition, look at what Eppler decided to do at the deadline. He wasn’t looking for rentals to help the Angels’ 2019 postseason chances, he was looking at the years to come.
When it comes to Griffin Canning, Eppler should do the same. Shut him down for 2019, and get him ready to be near the top of the rotation for the Angels as they look to contend in 2020.