The Los Angeles Angels finally play baseball later this week! Their first game is on Saturday afternoon at 12:10 PST against the Mariners. Unfortunately, it will not be broadcasted by Bally Sports West, but the Mariners are broadcasting it.
We were wondering who was going to start that game for the Angels and Phil Nevin finally gave that answer.
Tucker Davidson is starting the Spring Training Opener for the Angels
Davidson isn't the pitcher many would want to see, especially for the first game, so in that sense, it's good that it isn't available on local TV.
Davidson however, whether you like it or not, has a very legitimate shot at a roster spot. I'd say it's unlikely he cracks the Opening Day roster, but he does have a shot.
Davidson was acquired along with Jesse Chavez in the Raisel Iglesias trade at the deadline. This deal has turned out to be essentially a salary dump with Chavez being a complete non-factor and Davidson trending toward DFA territory. The southpaw is out of options so he either has to be on the roster or will be DFA'd.
Davidson's best shot is at the swingman sixth starter spot. The Angels bullpen is mostly set after the Matt Moore addition, and Davidson profiles best as a starting pitcher anyway. The problem is, he hasn't had any success whatsoever at the big league level.
It'll be interesting to watch Davidson to see if he's improved at all. He's expected to go two innings, a good sign of improvement would be to not walk anyone or allow a home run in those innings. He walked 5.4/9 while allowing 1.7 HR/9 in his eight starts with the Angels last season. Walks especially have been his issue in the bigs.
It's not an exciting young pitching prospect and it's not Ohtani, but it is someone with something to lose. Let's see how Davidson performs.