He doesn’t jump off the page in terms of an overpowering pitch arsenal, but it’s possible starter Griffin Canning is the most important piece of the current Angels rotation.
The 25-year-old will enter his first season of arbitration eligibility in the offseason and won’t be a free agent until the 2026 season.
Griffin Canning will be a piece to build around for the future Angels rotation.
Of the current six-man rotation, two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani is the only pitcher under contract for next season. Dylan Bundy, Jose Quintana, Andrew Heaney, and Alex Cobb will each hit the free-agent market. It’s possible the Halos bring one or more of those pitchers back, but if they don’t, Ohtani and Canning will be two pitchers with starting experience to build around.
This makes Canning’s 2021 season more important than ever. He needs to prove he can be a reliable arm in the big leagues, and Canning will get his first shot to produce in a full-162 game season.
Griffin Canning Career Statistics:
- 2019 (18 games, 17 starts): (5-6, 4.58 ERA) 90.1 IP 1.218 WHIP (4.37 FIP)
- 2020 (11 starts): (2-3, 3.99 ERA) 56.1 IP 1.367 WHIP (4.33 FIP)
Canning made his first start of the season in a 7-5 win (11 innings) on Thursday against the Blue Jays. He allowed three runs in the first inning, including a two-run homer to Vladimir Guerrero Jr, and a solo home run to Cavan Biggio in the six inning. Besides those blemishes, Canning’s start was encouraging.
Overall he allowed four earned runs on three hits while walking one and striking out seven through 5.1 innings pitched. He also retired 14 straight batters before the Biggio home run.
It wasn’t perfect, but if Canning can average around six innings and three earned runs per start, it’s going to give the Angels a great chance to win games, especially with this high-powered offense.