Armando Galarraga has been a pleasant surprise, definitely more productive than anyone could have possibly expected. Armando wasn't even a top prospect when the Tigers landed him as a throw in to a deal with Texas. Last year he threw like a rookie of the year pitching candidate (and like the Tigers ace), throwing 178 IP, racking up 126 K's, and went 13-7 with a 3.73 ERA. He was off to an even better start this season, winning his first three decisions in four starts where he allowed just 5 runs in 24.1 IP.
Two days after Armando's April 26 victory, Sky Kalkman at Beyond the Boxscore wrote a piece titled "Get off the Armando Bandwagon." He through out a bunch of sabermetrics that basically said that Galarraga was pitching out of his mind and his true ERA is about a 4.40-4.75 ERA type guy and that anyone who dares to have them on their fantasy teams should sell high.
Well, either Mr Kalkman deserves a lot of credit or he should be burned at the stake for witchcraft. Either way, Galarraga has absolutely tanked since that article.
In his last four starts, Galarraga has thrown just 17 1/3 IP, but has given up 21 earned runs while walking 12 batters. His season ERA has dropped to 5.62 and is 0-3 in those starts.
The timing of Galarraga's implosion is unfortunate for him because Jeremy Bonderman is set to be back very soon and that means one guy needs to be the odd man out. That is looking more and more like it is going to be Galarraga. With Willis back and throwing strikes with plus velocity, the only other question mark in the rotation at this point is Armando's recent struggles.
Bonderman, who said he would need just two rehab starts before being ready to go, went 7 strong innings in Class A last night, striking out 4 and walking just one. He allowed 2 ER on a couple of RBI groundouts. According to Jason Beck's tweet today, Bonderman will start Thursday in AAA and barring any setbacks, his next stop will be back with the Tigers.
Financially, a Bonderman for Galarraga swap makes sense, too. Bonderman is set to make $12.5 million this season while Galarraga makes the minium of $435,000. It appears that Willis is going to be given a legitimate second chance in the rotation seeing as he is the only lefty and will be making $10+ million this year regardless. As long as he is pounding the zone with 92-95 MPH fastball, he should be a more than adequate 4th or 5th starter. Since we're already eating Sheffield's huge contract, it'd be nice to have our bigger contract guys actually be of use to the team.
I've heard some rumblings that Porcello might get sent to the minors, but that would be (pardon my unPCness) retarded. He's been terrific in his last two starts and we don't need to be effing with him mentally right now. I know he's a mature and mentally tough kid, but I would go off my rocker if Dombrowski did this.
Everything is pointing to it being adios Armando Galarraga.