Tucker Davidson leads the sixth starter competition after another good outing
In my eyes, Tucker Davidson was seen as a pitcher on the outside looking in when it came to claiming an Opening Day roster spot. The only things saving him was the fact that he was pretty much all the Angels got for Raisel Iglesias, and the fact that he was out of options.
Davidson had done very little to impress in Atlanta which is why the Braves were willing to move him for a reliever who wasn't at the top of his game and still had three more years at a ton of money left on his deal. Once he arrived in Anaheim, Davidson was even worse.
A 6.87 ERA in eight starts for the Angels last year was highlighted by 22 walks compared to just 23 strikeouts in 36.2 innings pitched, with seven home runs allowed as well. He did not look competitive. Things have flipped this spring.
Tucker Davidson looks to be leading the Angels sixth starter race
The Angels had a wide-open spot to round out their rotation after they opted not to sign a free agent to fill that void. I still believe a free agent starting pitcher would've made this team even better, but there's a reason I don't work for the team.
Davidson is going up alongside pitchers like Chase Silseth, Griffin Canning, and Jaime Barria for that role. From the looks of it, he appears to be leading the race.
Davidson has been given the most chances out of anyone, and it's easy to see why. The southpaw is out of options, so the Angels would have to DFA him if he didn't make the team. Davidson started the first Spring Training game and leads the team with three games started. The results have been as encouraging as you could hope for.
Seven innings pitched, just two earned runs. He's walked one batter while striking out ten. His new slider appears to be a very effective weapon for him. He's pounded the zone and has gotten results from it. I know it's just the spring and the games don't count, but it's encouraging to see nonetheless.
Canning looked pretty good in his start, but he seems to be further back than the others, and in my opinion, would benefit from a little bit of time in the minors before being pushed back into the bigs where he hasn't pitched since July of 2021. Silseth and Barria both left a lot to be desired in their appearances.
The fact that Davidson has made two more starts/appearances than the others tells me the Angels likely feel the same way about him. For now, the sixth spot appears to be his to lose. We just have to hope this new success is not a fluke, and he doesn't revert back to the pitcher he's always been in the MLB.