Coming into the year, Grayson Garvin was one of the must frustrating players in the Rays system. He had shown so much promise after the Rays took him 59th overall in the 2011 draft, however his arm had never been able to stay healthy. But this season, he is finally showing signs that he might stay healthy enough to avoid a move to the bullpen.
Garvin did miss a month due to injury this season, and that is why he has only totaled 69.0 innings at the Double-A level. However that injury was to his back and is not considered to have any long-term significance. It is really Garvin’s last 6 starts that show he is finally making progress in building up his arm strength to have the ability to throw 100+ pitches every 5th day. In those 6 starts he has topped 5.0 innings 5 times and 6.0 innings 3 times. He has also thrown 80 or more pitches in 3 of them and more than 70 in all of them. That may seem unimpressive for most pitchers, but it is a huge step for Garvin- prior to this 6 start stretch he has only reached the 6.0 inning mark twice in his entire career. The fact that the Rays have been willing to let him loose even more also shows that they like what they have seen out of Garvin this year.
Garvin still has plenty left to prove, but there is a chance he could top the 100 inning mark this year. A stint in the Arizona Fall League is possible, if not likely, so that he can regain the month’s worth of innings that he lost thanks to his back injury. After that it will be up to Garvin and the Rays to continue to ramp up his workload in 2015 so that he is possibly ready to making a big league impact by the end of the season or early 2016.
All-in-all, you have to be encouraged by what Grayson Garvin has done in the last month. Of course it is just that- a month, but it is really the first time that Garvin has showed any progress towards ramping up his workload. If he can continue down this path, the Rays could have a potential number 2 or 3 starter on their hands thanks to Garvin’s good stuff and even better pitchability.