Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Galarraga has to wonder: What's a guy have to do to earn a little respect?

    Fame is fleeting. Armando Galarraga found that out, first-hand, this week, much to his dismay.
    Five weeks ago, Galarraga was a pitcher on the bubble. The Tigers had to make room on their roster and in their starting rotation for Max Scherzer, who was returning from a tuneup at Toledo, and I had a hunch Galarraga would be the one to go.
    But the Tigers opted to unload Dontrelle Willis instead. And three days later, Galarraga become the toast of the country when he tossed a game that was marred only by the glaring blunder of umpire Jim Joyce.
    At the time, Jim Leyland was seriously considering skipping Galarraga the next time through the rotation in order to keep the other starters, Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello, Jeremy Bonderman and Scherzer, on schedule.
    Of course, after Galarraga's purloined perfecto, Leyland didn't dare do that.
    However, since his infamously asterisked perfect game, Galarraga is 1-1 with four no-decisions.
    Not bad -- but not what people had come to expect after that magic night.
    On Tuesday, Galarraga -- still the low man on the Tigers' starting totem pole --  was shipped back to Toledo, albeit temporarily.
    It was a demotion that, a month ago, would have been utterly unthinkable.
    The way the brass explained it, the move allowed the Tigers to bolster their recently-battered bullpen by calling up rookie sinker-baller Robbie Weinhardt, and will also give Galarraga -- who wasn't scheduled to pitch again until after the All-Star break --  a chance to stay sharp with a start in Triple A.
    That makes perfect sense. But trying telling that to the Tigers' right-hander who obviously was blind-sided by the decision.
    Bottom line, because the Minnesota Twins' lineup is loaded with left handed hitters, Leyland preferred to pitch rookie lefty Andy Oliver rather than Galarraga against them this weekend. And he rearranged his rotation accordingly.
    Galarraga, who will remain with the Tigers the rest of this week, will start for the Mud Hens next Thursday. He will rejoin the Tigers in time to pitch against the Texas Rangers on July 20.
    The Tigers will play a day-night doubleheader in Cleveland on July 17. But rather than start Galarraga in one of those games, they will either call somebody else up from Toledo or elevate somebody, possibly Brad Thomas or Enrique Gonzalez, out of the bullpen
    Then, when he returns, Galarraga will have to prove himself all over again.



2 Comments:

Blogger Stephen said...

People have become obsessed with what is not really a demotion for Galarraga. They're looking for hidden meanings in a move simply designed to keep him on his regular schedule during a time the Tigers don't need a fifth starter. Yes, it seems strange that a guy who pitched a perfect game (unofficially, at least) just a little more than a month ago is now in the minor leagues. But it could turn out to be a brilliant move.

July 8, 2010 at 1:06 AM 
Anonymous experiencecounts said...

People have become obsessed with what is not really a demotion for Galarraga. They're looking for hidden meanings in a move simply designed to keep him on his regular schedule during a time the Tigers don't need a fifth starter. Yes, it seems strange that a guy who pitched a perfect game (unofficially, at least) just a little more than a month ago is now in the minor leagues. But it could turn out to be a brilliant move.

July 8, 2010 at 1:08 AM 

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