With Dontrelle Willis missing at least a couple starts while being on the 15-day disabled list, the Tigers have announced that they will call up Armando Galarraga to take his place in the rotation. As for Dontrelle Willis, hopefully the time off will allow him to not only heal but provide him with a chance to work on his control. The injury doesn’t sound serious enough that they believe it’ll take the full 15 days to recover allowing him some time to work on much needed improvements:
“We know he’s going to miss at least a start, and we don’t want to take any chances,” club president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said. “Hopefully, in 15 days, he’ll be ready.”
We can only hope he returns in full health and with all control issues figured out as the team needs it. For now Detroit will be filling his rotation Armando Galarraga who will be making only his second major league start. The Tigers acquired Galarraga from the Texas Rangers this past February, sending Michael Hernandez to Texas. A small trade that looks good now since Galarraga will be helping the big league club this year, Hernandez would not have been. At the time Dombrowski was positive on Armando as well:
“Galarraga is a quality prospect with a quality arm,” Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said in a statement. “His acquisition adds depth to our roster, and he is a pitcher we feel will be able to help our club in the future.”
Thing is, Armando Galarraga isn’t exactly what I’d term a prospect any longer, and if so certainly not a top prospect. He started off with the Montreal Expos organization in 1998 as a nondrafted free agent. He did rather well when not injured and injuries continued to be his major issue through even the last few years. He gets a large number of strikeouts, something that followed him to the few innings he pitched in the major leagues but also something that makes him a bit more suited for the bullpen. Additionally, his splits don’t show a major difference between right handed batters and left handed batters but, unfortunately, aren’t great for either as well.
PECOTA (subscription) is far from positive on Armando and the same goes for Chone and ZiPS projections systems which put his projected ERA at 6.25 and 5.65 respectivly. I was surprised to see him selected to fill the rotation instead of other pitchers who Leyland has liked in the past such as Virgil Vasquez, but both have done very well in Toledo thus far.
Tigers will need him to pitch deep since we know that there isn’t the bullpen to continuously fill an entire nine innings.