Coming into the 2008 Major League Baseball season, the Detroit Tigers and maybe every baseball fan (even the Chi-Sox and Indian fans) thought that the Tigers would be unstoppable, a force of dominancy if you will.
A line-up of massive proportions, with hitters the likes of Sheffield, Ordonez and Cabrera and a pitching staff that included Cy Young candidates Kenny Rogers and Justin Verlander.
But some things are not meant to be easy, and my friends this season of baseball for the Detroit Tigers is definitley not one of those "easy" things. The Tigers lost Granderson, Sheffield, Zumaya, Rodney very early on and the list of injured players was almost non-ending.
But those injuries, most of which are healed now, give the game a whole new perspective. A perspective of uncertainty and unknown territory; that being the Minor League System or Farmball as some know it!
The Tigers are known for breeding and grooming its pitchers from the minors up. Examples of this would be Zumaya, Verlander, and a non-Tiger now but still worth mentioning, Andrew Miller.
With all the injuries and set backs the Detroit organization had to call-up players, one of those being 26 year old, Armando Galarraga.
Galarraga, signed by the Montreal Expos in 1998, has only pitched in 15 MLB games in his career. Three last year with the Texas Rangers and 12 so far this year.
What drives a pitcher who has been in the farm system all his days to still strive to be the best? One word; heart.
Galarraga brings a humble soft presence to the mound, but when he lets the ball go from his 6'4" frame, its comes down like thunder.
With a moving fastball and a decent and effective breaking ball, Galarraga is a large part of why Detroit can say that they even have had a rotation early on in this season.
Carrying a 7-2 record into the middle of June is good, especially considering this is Galarraga's first full MLB season, a season which he was not even supposed to see MLB action.
Galarraga starts the game and retires batters quickly.
Galarraga's greatest strength is his ability to get ahead of hitters with early fastballs and change-ups. Galarraga rarely puts himself into a hole that he can not get out of.
Galarraga has given up 22 runs in almost 60 innings while striking out 39.
Galarraga is the the young but firm backbone that keeps this Tigers' rotation going.
I am going to go on a limb here and say that Galarraga not only leads the Tigers to the play-offs, but wins ROTY and could also be a possible All-Star candidate.
Put this guy on your "to watch" list, he is going to be something special!