Angels right-hander Griffin Canning will undergo “biological injections” on Friday to deal with his right elbow discomfort, the team announced, which all but officially rules him out for opening day.
The only question is whether he’ll be out longer.
As of now, Canning is back in Southern California — the Angels said the injections will be in Los Angeles — and will be reassessed in three to four weeks, per the team.
The Angels open their regular season on March 26 in Houston against the Astros.
Canning was a bright spot as a rookie in 2019, posting a 4.58 ERA (a 99 ERA+, essentially league average) with 96 strikeouts and 30 walks in 90⅓ innings. The Angels’ pitching staff was so decimated last year that Canning ranked second on the team in starts (17), third in strikeouts, and fourth in innings.
Angels pitchers ranked 12th in the American League with a 5.12 ERA, and their club-record 267 home runs allowed were third-most in the majors.
Canning, the Angels’ second-round pick out of UCLA in 2017, was penciled into the 2020 starting rotation, along with Andrew Heaney, Julio Teheran, and Dylan Bundy, but felt discomfort after his lone Cactus League game, pitching two scoreless innings on Feb. 26. An MRI at the time showed chronic changes to the ulnar collateral ligament and acute joint irritation in his right elbow.
Manager Joe Maddon at the time said it would be farfetched for Canning to be ready for opening day, and the latest news confirms that.
UPDATE: Canning was back in Angels camp in Tempe on Saturday, and told reporters surgery was not an option for his elbow.
Surgery was never discussed as an option, Canning said, as there is no tear that would necessitate it.— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) March 7, 2020
“There’s nothing to be negative about” at this point, he said.