Angels right-handers Griffin Canning and Chris Rodríguez will not pitch this season, trainer Mike Frostad told reporters (including Sam Blum of the Athletic). It’s a lost year for both, as they’ve each spent the entire 2022 campaign on the injured list.
Canning is now over a year since his last game action. He suffered a back injury while on optional assignment to Triple-A Salt Lake in July 2021, and he was shut down for the year not long after. The 26-year-old suffered a setback in May while throwing a simulated game in trying to build his way back. Canning declined to undergo surgery at the time in hopes of making it back to the mound this year, but that unfortunately won’t come to pass.
The only silver lining is that Canning has accrued a full year of big league pay and service time this season. The former second-round pick entered the season with two-plus years of service, so he’ll be eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter. Canning won’t be in line for much of a raise, as he carries a 4.73 ERA through 209 1/3 career innings and had no work in his platform year. Depending on his health status, it’s possible the Angels nevertheless non-tender him rather than devote him a 40-man roster spot for the offseason.
Injuries have been all too familiar for Canning, who’d been one of the Angels better pitching prospects during his time in the system. Despite the lackluster ERA, he’s shown some of that promise during his big league stint. Canning has a slightly above-average 23.8% strikeout rate and quality 13.2% swinging strike percentage as a major leaguer. He still seems to have mid-rotation upside if healthy, but he’d also lost an extended chunk of the 2019 season due to elbow inflammation before these back issues.
Rodríguez underwent surgery on his throwing shoulder last November. The team announced at the time the procedure would cost him most of this season, so it’s not especially surprising that he won’t make it back to Angel Stadium this year. Frostad indicated Rodríguez is still throwing at the club’s Arizona complex and generally progressing well, so it seems they simply doesn’t want to press him late in a non-competitive season.
The 24-year-old made his MLB debut last season, working 29 2/3 innings over 15 appearances in a multi-inning relief role. He posted a 3.64 ERA, compensating for mediocre strikeout and walk numbers with a robust 54.7% ground-ball percentage. As with Canning, Rodríguez collected a full year of service and salary in 2022. He won’t reach arbitration-eligibility until after the 2024 campaign at the earliest.