When A.J. Griffin was called up to start the Rangers' fifth game of the season, it was seemingly done on a short-term basis until Yu Darvish returned sometime in May or June and pushed him out of the picture.
Now, that picture might be changing altogether.
Sure, Darvish is still scheduled to return and his timetable has been pushed up from late-May or early-June to mid-May. But Griffin's performance has made it impossible not to consider a five-man rotation that includes the former A's pitcher who missed the past two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery, himself.
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Griffin posted the best start for the Rangers all season on Tuesday night when he worked eight innings in just 98 pitches. He allowed one run on four hits, walked one and struck out five.
Martin Perez, who will start Wednesday's series finale against the Yankees, has to be sweating a bit every time Griffin throws well. He's now 3-0 with a 2.52 ERA in four starts, while Perez has yet to pick up a win and has a 4.50 ERA with an inability to strike batters out and a tendency to walk too many guys (13 walks and 11 strikeouts in his four starts).
Griffin doesn't have room for error with Perez being the higher-paid guy, but so far, he hasn't had much in the way of error.