One of the best comeback stories early in the 2016 season so far has been that of Rangers starting pitcher A.J. Griffin.
The former A's pitcher, who was cast aside by Oakland after missing two straight seasons with injury problems, was signed this winter by the Rangers on a minor-league deal to provide depth to the starting rotation.
Not only did Griffin crack the Opening Day rotation, he's pitched himself into being a part of the team's long-term plans in the rotation and is off to a tremendous start — a start that was halted in his last outing when he left with shoulder stiffness amid concerns of yet another significant injury. It was not only a bummer for a guy with a pretty extensive injury history, but also for the Rangers as they await the return of Yu Darvish from a Tommy John surgery of his own in the coming weeks.
But Griffin and the Rangers got good news on Wednesday morning with Griffin's MRI, which revealed no structural damage. It was announced Griffin can being throwing again as soon as he feels better and he could be back in the rotation by the end of May, around the same time Darvish makes his season debut after missing all of 2015 and the last two months of 2014.
“That’s as positive of information as we could get,” manager Jeff Banister told reporters. “Now it becomes how he feels on the throwing side of it and how he responds.”