Griffin Canning’s debut season is over. The Angels decided Thursday to sideline their promising rookie pitcher after an MRI exam revealed mild inflammation in his right elbow.
Canning, 23, was on the injured list earlier this month for the same ailment. The team does not believe the structural integrity of his elbow is in jeopardy.
Rather than push Canning, the Angels decided to exercise caution and “allow the inflammation to subside,” general manager Billy Eppler said in a news release.
It is a logical step for a team struggling to get to .500 and 12 games out of a playoff spot. Although stretching Canning into deep September would have helped the Angels better understand the limits of his durability, they could not risk the future of a young pitcher who figures to play a prominent role in their 2020 rotation.
Canning, who played at UCLA and Santa Margarita High, was the Angels’ top pitching prospect when he debuted in late April. Although he went through rough patches, he lived up to the hype and posted a 4.58 earned-run average in 90 1/3 innings over 18 outings.
Rookie Jose Suarez, who was demoted Sunday after a string of disappointing starts, will return to the Angels rotation and start against the Houston Astros in Friday’s series opener at Minute Maid Park.