The Los Angeles Angels received good news on one of their starters, Griffin Canning, on Wednesday.
Eppler believes Canning could be back on the mound by the end of April. He will need several weeks to work through his throwing program before he is ready to resume a normal pitching routine.
The right-hander was shutdown early in Spring Training when an MRI revealed “chronic changes to the UCL and acute joint irritation” in his right elbow. While the diagnosis sounded problematic, and a potential precursor to elbow surgery, further testing revealed no ligament tears confirming Canning’s original belief that it was “normal wear and tear.”
The 23-year-old can find a positive in the unfortunate situation that has caused the Angels season to be delayed. It gives him more time to rehab from his injury, potentially allowing him to be a part of the starting rotation from Day 1 of the 2020 season, whenever that might be.
Canning was 5-6 last season with a 4.58 ERA / 4.37 FIP, with 9.56 K/9, 2.99 BB/9, and a 37.6 percent ground ball rate. He will need to do a better job keeping the ball in the ballpark to see his numbers improve in 2020. His 12.8 percent HR/FB rate contributing to his bloated ERA.
Canning is expected to be part of a rotation that will include two-way star Shohei Ohtani returning to the mound for the first time since 2018, along with new acquisitions Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran. It is expected that left-hander Patrick Sandoval will round out the starting five, although that has not been officially decided. The Angels could look to deploy a six-man rotation with the season promising to be condensed with doubleheaders likely a regularity.