2009 Player Profile: Armando Galarraga

Armando Galarraga #58

  • Height: 6′ 4″ | Weight: 180
  • 2008 Stats: 13-7, 3.73

GalarragaHead.jpgOn April 15, 2008, the Tigers summoned Armando Galarraga from Toledo for what most presumed was a short-term stint for the rookie right-hander. He made his Tigers debut on April 16 in Cleveland – a period when the Tigers desperately needed wins – and tossed a gem: 6.2 innings pitched, one hit, two runs, no walks and six strikeouts. At that time, little did the Tigers know how significant Galarraga’s impact would be.

In 30 appearances (28 starts), he posted a 13-7 record with a 3.73 ERA in 178.2 IP — and became the de facto staff ace. For his effort, Galarraga ranked fifth in the American Rookie of the Year voting. His recipe for success in 2008 was simple: throw strikes early and often – nearly 70 percent of his first-pitch fastballs were strikes – and nibble at the outside corners. Another ingredient: dominate right-handed hitters; they batted a meager .174 off Galarraga – nearly 90 points less than lefty hitters.

If the Tigers’ pitching staff is to rebound collectively in 2009, it will depend on an encore performance by Galarraga. And if top-line starters Verlander and Bonderman return to form, the Tigers will boast a dynamic rotation that few A.L. Central teams can match.

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