Reports out of Venenzuela hae the Orioles signing pitcher Armando Glaraga to a minor league contract, which comes with an invite to spring training. The terms of the deal are undisclosed to this point, however Galaraga was only 3-4 with an ERA of 5.91 last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Just what the O’s need; another pitcher with a high ERA. I suspect that Galaraga (31) might have a legit shot at making the team out of spring training, however that remains to be seen.
Galaraga was given the distinction of being Detroit’s opening day starter in 2009 by manager Jim Leyland because “he earned the right.” So in looking at that and at his ERA last year, it’s safe to say that there’s a bit more than meets the eye. This is not to say that I would be expecting a Cy Young season from Galaraga if he makes the Orioles out of camp, which still remains to be seen. You can put this into the category of another underwhelming signing for the Orioles. However in fairness, this isn’t being marketed by the Warehouse as the aquisition of an ace by any means. What it does is give the Orioles more pitching depth, which again is something that’s been lacking in recent years.
Galaraga is best known of course as the Detroit pitcher who was denied a perfect game in 2010 on a blown call at first base by umpire Jim Joyce. At the time, I remember seeing the play and commenting on how classy everyone involved was being…I also said that had I been involved in the incident that class would have gone out the window! However in all seriousness, I recognize that umpires are as human as the rest of us. While to the naked eye that blown call at first base appeared fairly cut-and-dry, it really was a bang-bang play. In fairness to Mr. Joyce (who I would still argue is a very good and ultimately a very fair umpire), we can’t expect every call to be correct if we don’t allow umpires the luxury of instant replay.
Ultimately it’ll be interesting to see how the Orioles come out of spring training in terms of the pitching staff. Last year they seemed intent on bringing the “calvalry” out of camp as the de facto starting rotation. This season it seems that there’s going to be some competition for the likes of Matusz, Tilman, Bergesen, and company. So perhaps the pitchers who give the Orioles the best chance to win night in and night out will be in the rotation off the bat. Where Galaraga ends up in that mix is beyond me.
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UPDATE (1/19/11) – According to Roch Kubatko of MASN, Galaraga has not signed with the Orioles. They’ve spoken and there appears to be a mutual interest, but no contract has been signed. So strike everything that’s written here for the time being!