Armando Galarraga might be the most well known starting pitcher without an actual rotation spot this season, as the Tigers signing Brad Penny to a one-year, $3 million contract yesterday likely pushes Galarraga out of the starting five.
Galarraga is famous for his imperfect perfect game last year and will forever be linked to umpire Jim Joyce, but take away that June 2 start and he went just 3-9 with a 4.79 ERA in 135 innings.
For his career Galarraga is 23-26 with a 4.58 ERA in 475 innings and he turns 29 years old later this week, which puts him squarely in the back-of-the-rotation starter or long reliever category.
Jason Beck of MLB.com notes that Galarraga is out of minor-league options, which means he can’t be sent back to Triple-A without clearing waivers first, so barring an injury to someone in the Tigers’ rotation he’ll either be bullpen bound or trade bait. Detroit could also simply release him, but Galarraga is still relatively cheap in his first season of arbitration eligibility, so letting him go for nothing wouldn’t make much sense.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.