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Griffin Canning 2020 Outlook


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Canning is going to throw today as part of his medical tests. Thankfully, we have Joe Maddon to clear up exactly what's going on:

"Skip, there's something wrong with my elbow." "Well, let's get ya to an MRI." [MRI inconclusive] "Alright kid, I know you said you were feeling pain but the MRI was inconclusive so we

Canning is very cheap for a full time starter that should have a K/9 above 9. There's not much in his profile from last year that showed he was unlucky or anything, and if I had to project an ERA and WHIP I'd think something like 4.25 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. That being said, with a little random variance and maybe some luck, he could easily have a ~3.50 ERA with 1.20 WHIP and strong K. There is probably some inning limitations though, but a line like 150 IP with a 3.5 - 4.5 ERA, 1.2 - 1.3 WHIP, and 150-170 K seems very much in reach. If he hits the high end of those numbers he will be extremely valuable at his draft price. At the low end, he's still a source of strikeouts and cheap enough to drop with no harm.

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After last year (and his overall medical history) this is not exactly a shock. The Angels just feel cursed in this area too. A shame.

Related note, it really feels like one of my favorite SP sleepers, Patrick Sandoval, will likely be locked into rotation now.

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The Angels just really can't catch a break with pitchers. Every single year for the past 5 years it feels, they've had 2, 3, maybe even 4 pitchers go down with TJS. Awful to hear about Canning. A talented young arm that sounds like will miss the whole season. Elbow is sore, felt something off, going for an MRI.... That's usually TJ.

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I'm fearing the worst as well, but what do you do with Canning if it's not the worst?

Suppose the MRI finds "mild elbow inflammation" just like last August, and they just shut him down for a week or two. Is he worth an IL stash? Worth holding in keeper/dynasty? Or are we at a point where Canning has just had so many elbow problems that you have to assume TJ is inevitable?

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"Skip, there's something wrong with my elbow."

"Well, let's get ya to an MRI."

[MRI inconclusive]

"Alright kid, I know you said you were feeling pain but the MRI was inconclusive so we need you to go out there and huck this f*cker as hard as you can to let us know if it the pain gets worse, stays the same, has gone away miraculously, or you're selling used cars in El Paso in a month. Go git 'em, Sport!"

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He seeking a second opinion and better news.

 
(1 hr ago) Canning is scheduled to receive a second opinion Thursday for his injured right elbow, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports.

The MRI that Canning required over the weekend revealed that he's dealing with issues with his UCL as well as joint irritation, making it a virtual certainty that he'll open the season on the injured list. The Angels likely just want to send Canning in for another opinion to receive more information about the best treatment method for the 23-year-old, with Tommy John surgery presumably representing a worst-case scenario. Even if Canning isn't given a lengthy recovery timeline and receives clearance to treat the injury though non-surgical means, he'll still represent a risky investment in fantasy drafts.

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  • 4 weeks later...

He's going to resume throwing again per the latest report, which sites his "'chronic changes' to the UCL in his right elbow" as the diagnosis. This is odd, it sounds very much like the same sort of detachment that Masahiro Tanaka and Adam Wainwright have famously pitched with through most of their respective careers. They're presenting it as a test again, to determine if he can get back on the mound by month's end, and potentially be able to pitch when the regular season begins. Short of seeing him unleashed in an extended spring training to come, there's no way mixed leaguers should be going anywhere near him. He is however back on the radar in AL only again with the obvious risks.

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