Every MLB season is important, but the 2023 season feels more important than any season in recent memory for the Los Angeles Angels. They haven't made the postseason since 2014. They haven't had a winning record since 2015.
Shohei Ohtani is a free agent after the season. He's made it very clear that he wants to win. He'll get a ton of money wherever he goes, but the Angels haven't shown him they can win.
In order to win games the Angels will have to be aggressive with their roster. If players are struggling they shouldn't have months to figure it out. Certain players get the benefit of the doubt, but there're three players in particular who made the Opening Day roster but should have short leashes in 2023.
1) LA Angels SP Tucker Davidson shouldn't have a long leash
Tucker Davidson made the Opening Day roster for two reasons. One, Griffin Canning is hurt. Two, he's out of options. Davidson pitched well enough this spring to make himself worthy of being on a roster, so the Angels opted to keep him instead of lose him for nothing. For what it's worth, I think giving Davidson the first shot to see what he can do was the right decision.
Where Davidson really impressed me was with his command. He struck out 20 batters this spring compared to four walks in 17.1 innings pitched. Last season at the MLB level Davidson walked 35 compared to 33 strikeouts in 52 innings pitched. More walks than strikeouts in 52 innings is unheard of, and was something Davidson just had to improve on to have any shot at a roster spot.
While Davidson pitched well enough this spring to earn a roster spot, he did not out-pitch Griffin Canning and doesn't have the MLB resume Canning has.
I'd give Davidson a couple of starts but if he gets off to a rough start, it'll be time to cut bait. The Angels cannot mess around with their starting rotation.