Alright, I know this sounds crazy. You were expecting the Halladay’s, the Sabathia’s, or even the Beckett’s to be mentioned here.
But no; if the season ended today, I would say Detroit’s Armando Galarraga has been the most dominant pitcher in the AL thus far.
The Tigers traded for formerly undrafted-free agent Armando Galarraga in the offseason before the 2008 season with the Texas Rangers. He made a huge impact the entire year and was a key reason the Tigers even hung around in the AL Central.
Galarraga went 13-7 for the Tigers in 2008, while posting a 3.73 ERA and striking out over double of the amount of hitters he walked.
That solid performance made an impression on the Tigers' organization and the Tigers' faithful, as he was praised all offseason as the only Tiger, other then Justin Verlander, that had a sure spot in the rotation.
So far this season Armando has answered the call. He has chalked up a 2-0 record in his 18 innings of work. He has only allowed four earned runs this season, and his ERA reflects it—a staggering 1.96.
When compared to other top pitchers in the American League, Cliff Lee, CC Sabathia, Roy Halladay, and Josh Beckett, his numbers stand out. His ERA is nearly a full point and a half better than the next best in that group, Halladay, whose ERA is 3.72. He has given up four fewer runs than any other of those pitchers and has not hit a single batter, like most of the other ones in that elite group.
So as you see, Galarraga would earn the AL Cy Young if the season ended today. Watch out for him the rest of the season, as he could get an All-Star birth, along with a shot at more prestigious awards.
If Galarraga and his partner Edwin Jackson can keep up the great pitching, and if Justin Verlander can pick it up, this Tigers rotation could be better than what most expected.