Devastating Angels SP injury opens door for Reid Detmers Rookie of the Year campaign

Griffin Canning, LA Angels
Griffin Canning, LA Angels / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

LA Angels starting rotation hopeful, Griffin Canning, revealed on Wednesday that he had a setback concerning his back injury he suffered last year and will not be ready for Angels Opening Day.

Canning was placed on the 60-Day IL, which eliminates him from starting rotation contention this season. Of course, Canning can try to earn his spot back when he's healthy, which is possible. Jaime Barria and Reid Detmers are the two front-runners for the last rotation spot. If whichever one of them who earns it struggles, Canning could wind up with a prime chance to take the slot over himself.

Canning was very impressive in the shortened 2020 season; putting up a 3.99 ERA and 114 ERA+ in 11 starts. In 2021, however, he really struggled. He had the worst year of his career--posting a 5.60 ERA to go along with a 1.484 WHIP and 80 ERA+. The Halos now will choose between a pitcher in Barria who's put together a strong season as a full-time starter before in 2018, or Detmers who has sky-high potential.

LA Angels No. 1 prospect Reid Detmers now has the chance to begin his Rookie of the Year campaign.

If you're Reid Detmers, this is your time to shine and make the LA Angels rotation this spring. Barria has been the better pitcher at the Major League level in his whole career over what Detmers was in his five Big League starts last year, but Detmers has more potential. Of all 2022 LHP prospects, MLB listed Detmers as the one with the best chance to win Rookie of the Year.

They also list Detmers as having the best curveball of any 2022 left-handed pitching prospect in the game (65 grade on 20-to-80 scale). He was listed as their top 2022 LHP prospect. That curveball certainly is nasty, and we got to see him work on using his slider last year when he got called up. It still needs some work, but he's got enough off-speed to be effective. Here's what Sam Dykstra of had to say about the curve:

"He averaged 73.5 mph on the breaker in the big leagues, and it drops significantly off the table, making hitters look foolish if they swing and miss or watch it plop in for a strike. Major Leaguers whiffed on it 33.3 percent of the time and only batted .150 against it in a small early sample."

Sam Dykstra,

Next. Best 7 Angels 25 and under. dark

While Detmers didn't have a ton of success in the Bigs last year, he did prove that he can put guys away. 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings is not too shabby at all for a 21-year-old (now 22). If there's any left hander that can be expected to pop off and win himself a ROTY, it's got to be Detmers. The 2020 tenth overall pick has dominated the Minor Leagues, already has Big League experience, and projects a high floor.