Last night Armando Galarraga made his 22nd start of the year for the Tigers, defeating the Rangers 11-3 and improving his record to 12-4 and 3.17 ERA. As little as thereâ€™s been to cheer about this season, one would think that Galarragaâ€™s emergence as a bona fide starter would be one of them. Instead, Tigers fans seem more fixated on a 22-year-old pitcher whoâ€™ll make his 25th start tonight at Shea Stadium, the one with an 11-8 record with a 3.15 ERA: Jair Jurrjens.
Granted, itâ€™s hard not to think about Jurrjens when Edgar Renteria makes an error, lofts another can of corn to left field or otherwise leaves runners stranded. But the reasons — at the moment they made the deal — Detroit sent Jurrjens (and outfielder Gorkys Hernandez) to Atlanta were a) the Tigers needed an upgrade at shortstop (stop laughing), and b) the organization was pitching rich. Also, there were some concerns about Jurrjens durability.
Bottom line: This trade made perfect sense at the time, less sense when Andrew Miller, et al, were shipped to Florida, and no sense when the Tigers find themselves two games under .500 in late August.
It’s too early to say whether Galarraga will be a Jurrjens — or vice versa — but knowing that the former’s likely to be a mainstay on the Tigers staff for the foreseeable future makes watching Jurrjens on TBS a bit more palatable.