Tucker Davidson leaves the door open for Griffin Canning after poor start

Mar 19, 2023; Scottsdale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tucker Davidson (32)
Mar 19, 2023; Scottsdale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tucker Davidson (32) / Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels sixth starter battle couldn't be going much better in Spring Training. Jaime Barria, despite a poor spring, has the best track record of the four candidates. Chase Silseth has shown massive improvements. Griffin Canning has been dealing as he returned from missing the entire 2022 season due to injury. Tucker Davidson had a strangelhold on that spot until his last time out.

The southpaw has been arguably the most improved Angel in spring. He was so awful down the stretch for the Halos after they acquired him from the Braves, I thought there was no shot he'd claim this spot. His performance through the first four starts gave him the best shot, but after a rough one, the competition is back in full swing.

Davidson still has the edge because of how good he was in the first four starts and because he's out of options, but the race is certainly closer.

Tucker Davidson's bad start gives Griffin Canning a better shot at stealing the Angels sixth starter spot

Tucker Davidson allowed six runs on seven hits in just three innings pitched. He walked one which is a good sign that he was still throwing strikes, and struck out five which is also a positive, but I felt he was leaving the ball over the middle too much and got burnt for it.

Davidson had awful control issues last season, so him throwing too many hittable strikes could be looked at as a good thing compared to walking as many guys as he did in 2022. Regardless, neither outcome is great.

Davidson's line was also a result of some rough luck as he had the side struck out in the bottom of the second, but Brett Auerbach reached on a wild pitch and then a walk, double, and single ended up plating three more runs that wouldn't have scored had there not have been the dropped third strike.

Something else to take away from Davidson's outing is five of the six runs he allowed scored with two outs. He was one pitch away from getting out of each inning, which is a hard pill to swallow.

Not a great day for Davidson, but the spring isn't over. Griffin Canning and his 0.93 ERA over three starts are closing in though, so if Davidson has another rough one, it could be time to start talking about Canning taking that spot even with Davidson out of options.

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