Coming off a very difficult 2016, A.J. Griffin is looking to make 2017 a successful year. Griffin came into last season having not pitched since 2013. The Rangers decided to give him a chance and the investment turned out to be okay.
Just yesterday, Griffin and the Texas Rangers agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal to avoid arbitration. Griffin started out 3-0 last season, but finished 7-4 with an ERA of 5.07 in 23 starts. Not very good overall, but not bad for a pitcher that hadn’t pitched in two seasons.
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In 2014, he underwent Tommy John Surgery and missed the entire season. When 2015 came, he was still feeling pain and soreness in his surgically repaired elbow and was forced to miss the entire 2015 season. He went on to be released by the Athletics and it seemed as though he would never be given another chance to play baseball again.
On December 21st, 2015 the Rangers signed Griffin to a minor-league contract. During Spring Training, it was announced that Yu Darvish would not be cleared to return until May, thus leaving one open spot in the rotation. Griffin would be the one who would go on and earn it.
I expect Griffin to pick up right where he left off this season. I am not sure if he’s projected to be the third or fourth pitcher in the rotation. He’s very likely to compete again for a spot in Spring Training. He’s very likely to earn a spot in the rotation.
Last year, he surprised us all, so I think he can impress us again this time around. 2017 should be a better for him. First, we’ll have to see how he does in Spring Training.