Los Angeles Angels: Griffin Canning wins 2020 AL Gold Glove
By Luke Graham
Griffin Canning became the second pitcher in Angels franchise history to win the Gold Glove.
The gold glove awards were announced on Tuesday and Halo fans had a pleasant surprise as pitcher, Griffin Canning snagged the gold glove for the AL on the mound. In a season full of ups and downs, this was a nice win for Los Angeles Angels fans as they get to something to brag about with Canning winning the award.
Canning, a second rounder in 2017 out of UCLA, was part of a shaky pitching staff in 2020. However, his defense was a bright spot and led him to taking home some brass at the end of the shortened 2020 campaign. Canning, had one error this season on 16 chances. His fielding percentage checked out at .938 that included eight assists, seven put-outs and one double play.
His one error this year actually came in his very last start on September 22. This last start actually turned out being his best game pitching for the Angels. He would fan 10 through six and allowed only two hits in a win.
After winning his first gold glove, Canning pairs with former Angels pitcher, Mark Langston in being the only two Angels to ever win the award. Langston, won five of his seven gold gloves in California (1991-1995.) He also would go on to have arguably his best years with the Angels as a three time all-star. In seven seasons, Langston would have over 1000 strikeouts and a winning percentage over .500.
Pitchers winning of gold gloves usually do not consist of the flashy plays we see from shortstops or center fielders, but the importance of them are undervalued. Being able to pitch and then set defensively to contribute on balls up the middle, or grounders down the line is impressive and extremely difficult.
Let’s not get it mixed up, he did not take home a CY Young award. Still, he has just over a year of service time and has pitched in only 35 game in which he keeps showing signs of improvement. The Angels have Canning locked up through 2026 and it’s hard to imagine a world in which he does not continue progressing. Hopefully, he can start next season like he finished his last start in 2020.
It’s early in the 24-year olds career and while signs are pointing up for him, the Angels need to make sure that he is not stuck as the number two in the rotation for 2021 just yet. If the Angles find a way to sign an ace or two and have a gold glove winning, young project in the back end of the rotation, then they may be a little better off than some people give them credit for. Only time will tell.