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OC Register: Angels’ Griffin Canning set for MRI to check on elbow issue


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TEMPE, Ariz. >> Griffin Canning, the Angels prized young pitcher, came up with an elbow issue during his first outing of the spring, sending him into an MRI tube as the team and fans hold their breath.

General manager Billy Eppler said the Angels could have results sometime later Thursday.

Asked on Thursday morning if he’s concerned, Manager Joe Maddon said: “Yep. He’s had a history, so of course you’re concerned.”

Canning, 23, had missed the end of the 2019 season with elbow inflammation, but he had described it as strictly precautionary. He said he had been fine by October and had a normal, uneventful winter. He said at the start of spring that he felt 100 percent.

“I think it’s just kind of something we need to monitor,” Canning said two weeks ago. “I need to watch my throwing program, even if i’m feeling good, knowing when to tone it down a little bit.”

Canning pitched two scoreless, hitless innings against the Dodgers in his spring debut on Wednesday, and afterward gave no indication of any issues when talking to reporters.

Apparently, though, Canning had a different story when talking to the team. Maddon said he learned after Canning’s outing on Wednesday that he didn’t feel right.

Maddon said Canning was scheduled for an MRI, but he wasn’t sure exactly when the test would take place.

In the meantime, the Angels have to hope that a pitcher who is expected to be a key member of their rotation for years to come does not have any serious issue.

“The kid is nice,” Maddon said. “We’ve been talking about his athleticism. He’s got a fabulous arm. He’s got a great future. We want him well.”

Canning, the Angels’ second-round pick in 2017, debuted in the big leagues last year, posting a 4.58 ERA in 18 games and 90-1/3 innings.

He was penciled in to one of the top four spots in the rotation to open the 2020 season, along with Andrew Heaney, Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran. Shohei Ohtani is not expected to pitch until mid May, as the Angels manage his innings in his return from Tommy John surgery.

Patrick Sandoval, Jaime Barria, Jose Suarez, Dillon Peters and Matt Andriese are the top candidates to fill out the rest of the rotation.

More to come on this story.

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