Left-hander Tucker Davidson will make his final start of the season for the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday against the Texas Rangers in Anaheim, Calif.
Although it is game No. 159 in a 162-game season, Davidson should be rested.
Davidson (2-7, 6.80 ERA) last pitched on Sept. 21, also against the Rangers. And that start came after the club decided to skip a start in order for him to focus on the mechanics of his delivery in an effort to improve his control.
Prior to that Sept. 21 game, Davidson had issued more walks (30) than strikeouts (27) in 11 games (10 starts) this season, including four games with the Atlanta Braves. Davidson was acquired by the Angels in a trade deadline deal Aug. 2 along with reliever Jesse Chavez in exchange for closer Raisel Iglesias.
The time off seemed to work, as Davidson did not walk a batter in five innings. He was tagged with the loss but did not pitch poorly, giving up three runs and five hits.
“I think the walks and the strike percentage kind of showed that,” Davidson said. “It’s one of those (things) I’m going to continue to build off of, but I think we’re making a lot of progress. I think the new delivery setup, whatever you want to call it, is going to be beneficial for me, and it just kind of simplifies things.”
Angels interim manager Phil Nevin agreed that Davidson’s work in between starts is paying off.
“That was the most encouraging thing,” Nevin said. “He was around the strike zone, and just seeing him around the zone like that and not (allowing) hard contact is good.”
Davidson’s start against the Rangers on Sept. 21 was his first and only career appearance versus Texas.
Right-hander Tyson Miller (1-1, 8.10 ERA) will get the start for the Rangers on Sunday.
Miller, who has yet to face the Angels in his career, allowed two hits in 3 2/3 innings in a 5-0 win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday.
Marcus Semien, who went 1-for-4 in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Angels, is finishing up his first season as the Rangers second baseman. He is having added another solid season to his career, including on the defensive side.
Semien committed 35 errors as the Oakland A’s shortstop in 2015 and 21 more in 2016. But thanks to the help of then-A’s coach Ron Washington and continued hard work since leaving the team, Semien successfully has made the transition from shortstop to second base.
Last season with Toronto, he won a Gold Glove at second base.
“Yeah, I mean, for me, it’s not always about errors,” Semien said. “It’s about what balls you can get to and what plays you’re making that the rest of the league doesn’t. I think that’s where the analytics have gone. It used to be just fielding percentage, now it’s both. Do you make every play that you’re supposed to make? And do you make plays that other people don’t? That’s kind of the difference maker.”
Enough to win another Gold Glove?
“I think as of late (he’s done enough),” Rangers interim manager Tony Beasley said. “Early on, not so much. But he’s shown why he won a Gold Glove. I think you’ve seen ample enough defensive prowess to understand that.
“But Marcus would be the first one to tell you that his defense, especially earlier on and up to halfway through the season, was not where he wanted it to be. I don’t know that he’ll be in a Gold Glove conversation this year. But I think he would tell you himself that he wants to get better defensively.”
–Field Level Media