Griffin Struggles With Long Ball, Locks Down Role

Former A's pitcher A.J. Griffin hasn't pitched in two years, but he's about to be a starter for one of the best teams in the American League.

By default more than anything else, Griffin locked down the role as the Rangers' fifth starter despite struggling with the long ball this spring but also allowing just two walks. In all, he's allowed a homer for every three innings he's thrown this spring (six in 18 innings of work), but the job is his.

"I like the fact that he can get swings and misses," Jeff Banister told The Dallas Morning News after Griffin allowed his sixth homer of the spring and allowed five runs in 3 2/3 innings. "I like the fact he can get the ball on the ground when he needs to. I like what we saw today."

In 2013, Griffin eclipsed 200 innings for the A's but did allow a league-high 36 homers despite calling one of the best pitcher parks in baseball in Oakland his home. Then came Tommy John and two missed seasons before he was designated for assignment after the season.

If this works out with Griffin, the Rangers could get one of the steals of the offseason because he's proven he can pitch well at the big-league level, he's still young and two years removed from Tommy John, he could come back stronger than ever.

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