The Rangers took a chance on A.J. Griffin by signing him to a contract after he hadn't pitched in the majors for two seasons due to a pair of injuries, but they were rewarded for much of the season as he serviceably ate up 119 innings. In 18 starts from April through August, he compiled a passable 4.39 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 7.8 K/9. Then the wheels came off in September to the tune of a 7.94 ERA. Serving up 28 home runs over the course of the season certainly didn't help his cause, and neither did his lack of control (3.5 BB/9). Fortunately, Griffin is still on the right side of 30, although his flyball tendencies won't play out well in Texas even if he does shore up his command. The right-hander is on track to open the year in the big league rotation, but that is more of a testament to the Rangers' lack of superior options. If he cannot cut down on the walks and home runs, he will likely be replaced by an internal option like Yohander Mendez sometime this summer.
Griffin agreed to a one-year, $2 million contract with the Rangers on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Griffin got off to a strong start last year, going 3-0 with a 2.52 ERA in April, but he went on to post ERAs north of 5.30 in each of the final three months. As things stand now, Griffin appears to have the inside track at the final rotation spot, but he will need to hold his own to fend off some of the younger, higher-upside arms in the organization.
Griffin allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks with four strikeouts over 4.1 innings in a no-decision Tuesday against the Brewers. Griffin has lasted five innings just once in his past four starts, in which he has allowed 17 runs in as many innings. He was undone by a pair of home runs Monday and has now given up seven blasts in that four start stretch. Griffin is averaging just 87.7 mph on his fastball this year and it looks like hitters have figured out his brand of junkballing.
Griffin allowed two runs on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts over seven innings but was left with a no decision Tuesday against the Astros. Griffin was touched up for his 25th and 26th home runs of the season, but luckily, both were solo shots. Other than that, he was brilliant, as he reached seven strikeouts for just the fifth time all season and induced 10 swinging strikes in 92 pitches. Griffin's inability to keep the ball in the yard has limited him all season, however, and he owns just a 4.78 ERA as a result.
Griffin (7-4) was thrashed for eight runs on seven hits and three walks in just four innings against the Mariners on Wednesday. He did strike out seven, though. This was quite the three-true-outcomes day for Griffin, as 13 of the 22 batters he faced homered, walked or struck out. This hasn't been a good season for Griffin by any definition, but it's turning downright ugly toward the end here, as his ERA is slowly climbing toward the 5.00 mark.
Griffin (7-3) held the Astros to three runs on three hits and three walks over 5.2 innings Friday, and struck out five. A bumpy first inning and the second homer he allowed in the fifth, which ended his start, made what would've otherwise been an even better outing by Griffin. Unfortunately, wins have been the only statistic Griffin has offered value in the 19 games he's started this year. He's sported an average strikeout rate (7.75 K/9) and the rest of his peripherals are quite poor. His next start will be Wednesday at Seattle, a matchup fantasy owners should avoid, if possible. The Mariners have had substantial success against Griffin in his career. In three starts, they've scored 10 runs on 20 hits (four home runs).