No one, not even the Rangers expected starter A.J. Griffin to be this untouchable. He’s been pitching like an ace this season, and it’s given the Rangers a big boost. The team lost Cole Hamels for at least two months, but Griffin has stepped up in his place.
Through five starts Griffin is 4-0 with a 2.45 ERA with 27 strikeouts and has allowed just eight earned runs. Only Andrew Cashner has a better starter ERA this season with a 2.43, but this lack of command is what knocked him off this list.
This season Griffin looks like a new man, and usually after having Tommy John surgery your performances goes downhill. Well, for some incredible reason Griffin has gotten much better since his elbow surgery.
The biggest problem for Griffin through his career has been the home run ball. He allowed a league leading 36 home runs in 2013, but has pitched much better since then. Through his five starts this season, Griffin has allowed just four home runs.
His ability to keep the ball in the park will be the biggest factor to his success. If Griffin can continue to limit the home run ball then the Rangers could be looking at a three-headed ace once Hamels returns from the disabled list.