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OC Register: Griffin Canning, Jose Suarez among prospects who have Angels excited

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TORONTO — Matt Wise’s job has a little extra spice to it these days.

Wise, the Angels’ minor league pitching coordinator, is now overseeing an organization that has its most talent in years.

“It’s an exciting time to roam around,” said Wise, who is filling in with the big league club while bullpen coach Scott Radinsky is away temporarily. “We have a good group of young arms coming up.”

Two of the most intriguing prospects – right-hander Griffin Canning and lefty José Suarez – were in the rotation at Double-A until Suarez was moved this week to Triple-A.

Canning, a 22-year-old product of Santa Margarita High and UCLA, has started two combined no-hitters this year, posting a 1.49 ERA over eight starts between Class-A and Double-A. He has 42 strikeouts and 17 walks in 36-1/3 innings.

“He’s a fairly polished advanced guy who does everything the right way,” Wise said. “He has four quality pitches. He does everything exactly how you want to see it. He’s got a few things to work on, but he’s moving pretty quick.”

The Angels didn’t have Canning pitch at all after they drafted him last year, compensating for a heavy workload and some health concerns from his junior year at UCLA. Now they are still being cautious with him. He hasn’t thrown more than 84 pitches in a game, and he’s currently having his spot in the rotation skipped for one turn so “he can catch his breath a little bit,” Wise said.

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Suarez, a Venezuelan who will play this entire season at age 20, has already gone from Class-A to Double-A to Triple-A. He has a 2.79 ERA, with 69 strikeouts in 39-2/3 innings. Wise said he added a curveball to his fastball and changeup, and it’s helped him go to the next step.

“He does everything right as well,” Wise said. “He’s one of the coolest guys to be around. He’s highly competitive, very athletic. We’re very excited about him.”

The Double-A rotation also includes Jesus Castillo, a 22-year-old the Angels got from the Chicago Cubs in the Joe Smith trade in 2016. He progressed through three levels last year. So far this year he’s had some ups and down, with a 4.30 ERA.

Asked which of the three is closest to the majors, Wise said: “All of them.”


Although the Angels have struggled to get consistent production out of the leadoff spot, Manager Mike Scioscia said they are still happy keeping Andrelton Simmons in the middle of the lineup, instead of at the top. “I think Simba’s in a good spot, a pivotal RBI spot,” Scioscia said, adding that the order is not as important as getting players like Ian Kinsler and Zack Cozart hitting to their capabilities. …

Scioscia said the Angels are awaiting MRI results on René Rivera’s injured right knee before they will know how long he will be out. …

Former Angels slugger Wally Joyner will be one of the announcers on the MLB-produced broadcast of the Angels’ game on Thursday. The game will only be televised on Facebook Watch, part of a new MLB partnership. …

Dave Garcia, who managed the Angels in 1977-78, died this week, his grandson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Garcia was 97.


Angels (Nick Tropeano, 1-3, 4.45) at Blue Jays (Marco Estrada, 2-4, 5.15), Thursday, 9:30 am, Facebook, KLAA (830 AM)

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