The injury bug has kept starter A.J. Griffin to just ten starts heading into Tuesday’s game against Detroit. He’s struggled most of this season, and didn’t have much success in 2016. What should the Rangers do with Griffin?
The Texas Rangers starting rotation has been surprisingly strong this season. The back-end of the rotation could use some help, but the team has done well despite trading ace Yu Darvish. Should the Rangers consider moving A.J. Griffin to the bullpen for the final stretch of the season?
This season Griffin is 5-3 with a 5.40 ERA in ten starts. He’s allowed 15 home runs in just 50 innings this season. The 29-year-old has struggled since 2013, and the Rangers might want to consider moving him out of the rotation.
The Rangers are just three games out of the Wild Card heading into Tuesday’s game. They need to keep playing consistent and that starts with the pitching staff. Lefty Martin Perez was really the only struggling starter and even he’s turned it around lately.
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That means there is a lot of pressure on Griffin to pick up his performance. Injuries have been a factor there is no doubt about that. It is clear Griffin is not the same pitcher he used to be, and it could be time to consider shifting him to the pen.
Griffin does have good stuff, but when he doesn’t have control of his breaking pitches it escalates quickly. He’s often been hit or miss this season and either pitches great or gets completely destroyed immediately.
The Rangers could save some of that heartache by moving Griffin to the bullpen. Rookie Austin Bibens-Dirkx is a candidate to take over in the rotation. The team could also look for outside help, but Griffin is not the answer.
During his two seasons with Texas it’s been hard to watch Griffin. In 33 starts Griffin is 12-7 with a 5.17 ERA and has allowed 43 home runs. A career in the bullpen could be a better move especially after all the arm injuries.
The Rangers still have a shot at the postseason, but they need all the help they can get right now. Using Griffin in the starting rotation is not going to help anything. Time to move Griffin to the bullpen or cut him completely.