The Future of A.J. Griffin: Pitcher signed to Minor League Deal with the Texas Rangers
- Updated: December 26, 2015
Image Source: mlb.nbcsports.com
On December 21, 2015, right-handed pitcher Arthur Joseph Griffin of the Oakland Athletics – better known as A.J. Griffin, was recently signed up for a minor league deal under the Texas Rangers. Recovering from his well-known ‘Tommy John’ Surgery in April of 2014, resulted in him not being involved in the Major League since the year of 2013. While it could be seen as benevolent for the Texas Rangers to include him – even in minor league standards – A.J. Griffin has been reportedly taking part in throwing programs to ready him for his first season in quite a long time for baseball standards. This raises the question, does A.J. Griffin have a chance of being in the majors once again, or did his pitching injury set him back too far? While A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker made a mark in the starting rotation in some of their first proving grounds in the major leagues playing with the Oakland A’s, A.J. Griffin’s absence proved to show the hurt in the Athletics’ performance after Griffin failed to return due to repeat shoulder injuries.
Even after attempts to regain what he had with some of his less-than-stellar rehabilitation comebacks this year, the Texas Rangers as a company will indeed be taking a chance with A.J. Griffin with this minor league contract. In the past two years of 2014 and 2015, while A.J. Griffin has two ERAs (3.06 in 2012, 3.83 in 2013) to support his ability as a pitcher, and up the performance of the Oakland A’s in 2012 and 2013, his future in MLB is rather murky. A.J. Griffin was once touted as one of the wildcards that the Oakland Athletics were willing to take the risk, but after being benched due to more recent injuries in the last few years, this minor league contract with the Texas Rangers will require A.J. Griffin to prove himself once again to see if his career may continue in major league baseball, or wither away in obscurity. If A.J. Griffin can prove to his new signers that he can regain the ‘moxy’ he once had, there should be no reason why he can’t make a comeback and graduate back to the MLB. While Tommy John has become a familiar name for Griffin, his medical history and likelihood of suffering from another bout of flexor tendinitis could give his new employers relative unease. This upcoming season in the minor leagues could possibly be the one last pitch A.J. Griffin has for the major leagues. His success to build upon the statistics he once proved will be the deciding factor of whether A.J. Griffin is ready to relight his career in major league baseball.
Sources: A.J. Griffin’s MLB Profile