Griffin Set for Debut After Two-Year Hiatus

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The Rangers have given up more homers than seemingly the rest of the world combined through the first four games of the 2016 season.

Unfortunately, there's a chance that total climbs on Friday night with homer machine A.J. Griffin set to make his Rangers pitching debut against the Angels in Anaheim.

But let's forget about that for a second and give Griffin a pat on the back for getting back to this point after a two-year hiatus following arm surgery.

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Griffin is bound to give up a long ball or two tonight, but if he can pitch around other trouble and put together a solid outing, it's going to be a nice rebound story for a guy who was brought in as a no-risk, high-reward flier to make the Rangers' Opening Day rotation.

He didn't quite, but only on a technicality. Minor league options and other factors allowed the Rangers to wait until the fifth game to call up a fifth starter while carrying an extra reliever. Now, one of those guys will be sent out, and Griffin will be called up to start on Friday night — his first big-league action since 2013.

In 2013 with the A's, he pitched 200 innings with a 14-10 record and a 3.83 ERA while allowing a league-high 36 homers. But, 200 innings is 200 innings and those numbers can be a lot worse from a No. 5 starter.

Now, Griffin gets his chance to get back into the game, and it's likely oly temporary with the Rangers, at least, with Yu Darvish set to return in less than two months.

"It's been a long road, longer than I would have liked," Griffin told The Dallas Morning News. "But good things take a long time sometimes. They made it pretty clear to me what was going to happen, but it's baseball, so you never know. Once I got on the plane [Wednesday], I felt a little more confident in what was going on. They were doing what they had to to make sure the team has the best chance to win games. I'm just glad they are giving me this opportunity."

Despite the tendency to give up long balls, Griffin does do something that not many Rangers pitchers have one well this year so far — avoid walks. That, alone, could endear him to Rangers manager Jeff Banister and pitching coach Doug Brocail.

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