Texas Rangers pitcher A.J. Griffin will make his second rehab start tomorrow, and will be pitching for the Round Rock Express. Griffin’s first rehab outing was on July 14 for the Rangers’ rookie league team in Arizona, where he threw three perfect innings, striking out two.
Griffin is on the 60 day d.l., and the 60 days won’t elapse until next week, so Griffin will make at least one more start after tomorrow’s outing. What remains to be seen is what the Rangers’ plans for Griffin will be once he is ready to go. Griffin can spend up to 30 days on the rehab assignment, which would push him into mid-August, and Texas could have him stay on assignment until the rest of the rotation stays healthy.
Of course, some of this depends on what happens between now and July 31, and whether the Rangers become sellers. With Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross and Yu Darvish all free agents at the end of the season, a losing streak could prompt Texas to move some or all of that trio, which would open up a spot for Griffin in the rotation. Texas could also potentially look to move Cashner or Ross as part of a deal to get bullpen help, either in a direct deal or through acquiring a prospect which could be used to pick up a reliever. Neither Cashner nor Ross would seem likely to fetch much in trade at this point, however, particularly if the Rangers aren’t subsidizing any of the money due to either pitcher.
Alternatively, Griffin could end up going to the bullpen as a long man or multi-inning reliever, which would allow the Rangers to option Austin Bibens-Dirkx to AAA. Bibens-Dirkx hasn’t pitched for Texas since June 30.
This assumes that no member of the rotation gets hurt, of course, between now and when Griffin is ready to go, and no member of the rotation pitches poorly enough to get replaced by Griffin. I wouldn’t say either of those is a safe assumption, given how this season has gone.