Griffin Canning to receive ‘biological injection’ in elbow, will be re-evaluated in 3-4 weeks

Griffin Canning
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The Angels announced that starter Griffin Canning is getting a “biological injection” in his ailing elbow and will be re-evaluated in 3-4 weeks’ time. Canning was recently diagnosed with both UCL and joint issues in his pitching elbow.

The phrasing of the announcement is interesting. The word “biological” generally leads me in two different directions with this sort of injury. Many baseball players have been treated with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections for a variety of issues in recent years, but the Angels have also used stem cell injections to try to treat UCL woes.

Andrew Heaney, Garrett Richards and Shohei Ohtani all got stem cell treatments for their elbows. All three also eventually wound up getting Tommy John surgery. I’m not willing to go as far as the LA Times article did in condemning the treatments as useless, seeing as a sample size of three is rather small. They’re also not the only players who have ever been treated with stem cells. CC Sabathia, for instance, got a stem cell injection for his bad knee.

Regardless of what the treatment is or isn’t, it’s a positive sign that Canning’s injury wasn’t deemed dire enough to immediately merit surgery. Canning isn’t going to be ready for Opening Day either way, but if the injection works he may be able to pitch at some point this season. Goodness knows that the Angels’ rotation needs all hands on deck, even after the team signed both Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran this winter.

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Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.