The Angels are planning to recall right-hander Davis Daniel prior to today’s game, reports Sam Blum of The Athletic. The Halos currently have tonight’s starter listed as TBD, so it would seem the 26-year-old Daniel is in position to make his big league debut.
A seventh-round pick back in 2019, Davis originally had his contract selected to the big league roster last summer but didn’t appear in a game before being optioned back to Triple-A Salt Lake. He’s spent the bulk of the season on the injured list due to a shoulder strain but returned to the mound in early August. He’s worked 25 1/3 innings between rehab stints with the Angels’ Rookie-ball and Class-A affiliates, pitching to a 1.78 ERA with an outstanding 37-to-5 K/BB ratio in that time (against much younger and less experienced competition, of course).
While Daniel has spent this year rehabbing and facing only lower-level minor leaguers as he ramps back up, he did log 102 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level a year ago. In that time, he pitched to a 4.49 ERA in a very hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League environment, striking out 19.4% of his opponents against a 7.5% walk rate.
Daniel ranked among the Angels’ top 30 prospects on most publications heading into the 2022 season, but his velocity and strikeouts were down last year — and this year’s shoulder strain has only further led to concern. Injuries have been an issue for the former Auburn hurler, who also had Tommy John surgery during his draft season. Davis no longer ranks within the Angels’ top 30 prospects at either MLB.com or Baseball America, but FanGraphs tabs him 21st among Anaheim farmhands.
Daniel is fully rested and is stretched out to the point where he’s a clear option to start tonight’s game. He pitched 5 1/3 innings in his most recent start on Aug. 29, and he went six innings and five innings, respectively, in his two starts prior to that outing. He could also provide bulk innings behind an opener if the Halos choose to go that route. That’s not a tactic they’ve used in 2023, but they did turn to openers and bullpen games on occasion last year.