The back end of the Los Angeles Angels rotation was a question mark heading into the season and is an even bigger question mark 19 games into the campaign. The Angels entered this season with an established top four of Shohei Ohtani, Patrick Sandoval, Tyler Anderson, and Reid Detmers, but the fifth and sixth starters were unproven at best.
Griffin Canning has pitched well in his first two starts since returning from the Injured List, it's safe to say he's earned a spot for a while in the rotation. The sixth spot remains up for grabs in my eyes.
Jose Suarez had a spot in the rotation before Spring Training even began, but has struggled mightily in his first three starts. Suarez shouldn't be starting his next time out in my opinion, but Phil Nevin has already said the left-hander will get another start. The guy who I believe should be taking his spot is Tucker Davidson. Hopefully, this can happen after Suarez's next start if he pitches poorly once again.
LA Angels pitcher Tucker Davidson should replace Jose Suarez in the rotation if Suarez struggles again
Tucker Davidson opened the season on the Angels roster for three reasons. First, he looked much better in Spring Training than he did at any point in his MLB career. Second, he's out of options, and the Angels would've lost him for nothing if they DFA'd him. Third, Griffin Canning was on the Injured List.
Davidson opened the year in the bullpen because the Angels did not need a sixth starter for the first couple of weeks of this season. Once they did need a sixth starter, Canning returned from the Injured List, so Davidson has remained in the bullpen.
While serving in a long relief role, Davidson has a 2.84 ERA, allowing four runs in 12.2 innings pitched. He's struck out 12 batters in those innings, while allowing ten hits and five walks. He hasn't been dominant, but has shown to be more than capable on the mound.
Davidson allowed two runs in just one of his five outings, and that was mainly due to poor defense in his outing against Washington. Other than that, he's held the opposition scoreless or to one run in the rest of his outings.
In his most recent outing against the Yankees, Davidson allowed one run without giving up a hit. He walked two and struck out three in two innings of work. The run he allowed was thanks to Jimmy Herget who allowed that base runner to score after he was pulled.
Davidson has shown much-improved command and his stuff looks sharper. In my eyes, he's done enough to earn a couple of starts in the Angels rotation. Let Suarez figure things out in the bullpen.