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Armando Galarraga could be odd man out for Tigers’ rotation

Jan 12, 2011, 10:41 AM EDT

Armando Galarraga

Armando Galarraga might be the most well known starting pitcher without an actual rotation spot this season, as the Tigers signing Brad Penny to a one-year, $3 million contract yesterday likely pushes Galarraga out of the starting five.

Galarraga is famous for his imperfect perfect game last year and will forever be linked to umpire Jim Joyce, but take away that June 2 start and he went just 3-9 with a 4.79 ERA in 135 innings.

For his career Galarraga is 23-26 with a 4.58 ERA in 475 innings and he turns 29 years old later this week, which puts him squarely in the back-of-the-rotation starter or long reliever category.

Jason Beck of MLB.com notes that Galarraga is out of minor-league options, which means he can’t be sent back to Triple-A without clearing waivers first, so barring an injury to someone in the Tigers’ rotation he’ll either be bullpen bound or trade bait. Detroit could also simply release him, but Galarraga is still relatively cheap in his first season of arbitration eligibility, so letting him go for nothing wouldn’t make much sense.

  1. dodger88 - Jan 12, 2011 at 10:56 AM

    Solid player whose career will likely get prolonged thanks to the imperfect game. There will likely always be a team willing to give him a chance for several years to come.

  2. icanspeel - Jan 12, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    It’s amazing how long he can ride off of 1 great game pitched.

  3. yankeesfanlen - Jan 12, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    Jeez, the Tigers rotation, except for Verlander, worries me. Cabrera’s great, Ordonez will need to bat .300 again, and AJax improve and maybe they’ll hit their way out of it.
    Posting this because there seems to be a dearth of Tigers fans around here.

    • Detroit Michael - Jan 12, 2011 at 11:33 AM

      Scherzer is a solid #2 starter.

      • heiniemanush - Jan 12, 2011 at 11:40 AM

        As long as he stays healthy Scherzer is the real deal. He could easily get 200 strikeouts this year. I was a little tough on Porcello. They threw him into the rotation when he was 20 and he’s just learning to pitch. He’s definitely got the tools to be something special but it may take him another year or two to figure things out.

    • BC - Jan 12, 2011 at 11:54 AM

      Scherzer is the real deal based on what I saw last year. That gives you a solid 2 starters – enough to compete.

  4. heiniemanush - Jan 12, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    I can’t say I’m sold on Porcello, Coke or Penny, so it’s likely Galarraga will get one last chance to stick around. The problem is he hasn’t really stepped up when given the opportunity the last couple years. He’s also a pitch to contact type and the Tigers’ defense is less than stellar. I doubt they’d get much more than a bucket of balls in a trade but I could see him being effective in a big ballpark like Petco or Safeco.

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