News out of the Diamondbacks' clubhouse after their win against the San Diego Padres is that Armando Galarraga was seen cleaning out his locker and leaving without speaking to reporters. He has officially been designated for assignment, and the Diamondbacks have 10 days in which to trade, release, or outright Galarraga to the minor leagues. Kevin Towers told reporters that it was a tough decision and Armando's a good competitor but, "We felt it was time to make a change."
Willie Bloomquist will be activated from the disabled list tomorrow, but the Diamondbacks will still need a 5th starter to pitch on Saturday against the Minnesota Twins.
The Diamondbacks acquired Armando Galarraga, he of the should-have-been-perfect-game fame, this January from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for two minor leaguers, Kevin Eichhorn and Ryan Robowski. He was one in a slew of back-end-of-the-rotation guys the Diamondbacks had as options this spring training, among them Barry Enright, Zach Duke, Aaron Heilman and Micah Owings. Galarraga struggled even in Spring Training; he had an ERA of 8.44 and allowed three home runs. But Galarraga remained on the team as the #5 starter as Duke broke his hand, Heilman remained in the bullpen, and Owings stayed in AAA Reno. Enright was the #4 starting pitcher until about two weeks ago when he was optioned to Reno.
Galarraga struggled mightily this year with Arizona. He got lucky in his first three starts, accumulating an ERA of 6.00 and allowing six home runs, yet winning all three games. His ERA only barely improved - it currently sits at 5.91 - as his home run and walk totals continued to climb. In only three of his eight starts did he go six innings or longer. He leaves Arizona with a 3-5 record, 5.91 ERA, and 13 home runs allowed.
He also leaves with a bitter taste in the media's mouths and probably the fans' as well. After his frustrating outing last night (5 IP, 8 R), Galarraga had an outburst with a radio reporter that was caught on tape and made the rounds on all the major sports networks. He said he wasn't worried about keeping his job. Well, perhaps he should have been?
Towers said (in the audio clip above) that "Once we decide who [that 5th starter] is, we'll let you know." Heilman has not been stretched out since spring training and only went one inning tonight, so I wouldn't even consider him. I await IHSB/bluebulldog's analysis on who our choices are for that coveted spot on the big league roster. Might we see the return of Enright after only two starts for Reno? He allowed five earned runs tonight, and Micah Owings allowed six earned runs on Sunday. Or are there better choices down in AA Mobile, such as Wes Roemer? Well we certainly need somebody to start for us on Saturday!