Angels righty Griffin Canning has taken another step forward in his recovery from this spring’s right elbow troubles. He posted video of himself pitching off a bullpen mound at Angel Stadium on Instagram earlier today (hat tip: Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, on Twitter).
The 23-year-old Canning underwent an MRI early in Spring Training after experiencing discomfort and was diagnosed with “chronic changes” to the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow and “acute irritation” in the joint. Ominous as the “UCL” portion of that diagnosis was, further testing revealed that there was no tear. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection, went through a period of rest and was cleared to begin throwing early last month.
A return to mound work not only shows that Canning is still setback-free but also lends increased optimism that he can be ready for game action when or shortly after the league resumes play. There are no set dates for a resumption of play just yet, but the league is reported to be prepping a proposal for the Players Association and expects to present that plan in the next few days.
Canning made his big league debut in 2019, tossing 90 1/3 innings over 18 appearances (17 starts) while compiling a 4.58 ERA with averages of 9.6 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and 1.4 HR/9. A second-round pick in 2017 and top 100 prospect heading into the 2019 season, he’s viewed as a critical piece of the team’s rotation moving forward. He’s controlled all the way through the 2025 season, joining Shohei Ohtani as a potential building block in a rotation that is otherwise comprised of hurlers who are set to reach free agency this coming winter (Julio Teheran) or after 2021 (Andrew Heaney, Dylan Bundy).