When the Rangers signed A.J. Griffin to a minor-league deal this past winter, it was thought that he'd compete for the fifth starter job (he did) and then be out on the street or in the bullpen when Yu Darvish returned from Tommy John surgery.
What actually happened was quite different.
Griffin went 3-0 in six starts with a 2.94 ERA in his first MLB action since 2013 after Tommy John surgery of his own. Then, he came up with a shoulder issue and was placed on the disabled list — not before he had worked his way into the Rangers' long-term plans for this season.
Now, Griffin could be on his way back and could give the Rangers another hard decision to make to answer one of those "good problems" like what to do with Nomar Mazara or what to do with Jurickson Profar.
Griffin threw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Monday and could begin a rehab assignment on Thursday. Then, after three or maybe four of those starts, he could be back in the picture for the Rangers.
It's great depth to have if there's another pitching injury (knock on wood) or it could present the chance to either go to a six-man rotation (doubtful) or give some other starts a break from time to time.