Texas Rangers

A.J. Griffin plans to trust his stuff, attack on Friday

Rangers starting pitcher A.J. Griffin, right, starts Friday’s series opener against the Oakland A’s at Globe Life Park.
Rangers starting pitcher A.J. Griffin, right, starts Friday’s series opener against the Oakland A’s at Globe Life Park. rmallison@star-telegram.com

A.J. Griffin has a plan for Friday’s start in the series opener against the Oakland Athletics: Attack.

After watching Yu Darvish and Martin Perez struggle at times with trying to be too perfect (and walking a combined nine batters in 12  2/3 innings), Griffin said trusting his pitches will be at the forefront of his mind.

Right-hander A.J. Griffin is scheduled to start Friday’s series opener against the Oakland A’s at Globe Life Park.

“If you don’t have conviction in the pitch you’re about to throw you might as well not be out on the mound,” said Griffin, who was 7-4 in 23 starts in 2016, his first season back after Tommy John surgery.

“You’ve got to trust that it’s going to be the right pitch and you’re going to execute the way you want to, and even if you don’t execute it the way you want to, if you throw it with conviction better things happen than if you throw it up there not knowing whether you’re supposed to throw that pitch.”

Griffin, who last threw 50 pitches in a simulated game on Sunday’s day off, said his mental approach to pitching is probably healthier than most.

“Talent-wise, or perceived talent-wise, I’m not that good but I trust in all my pitches and I’m a warrior out there,” he said. “I’m a bulldog and I go after everyone, I’m not scared of them. It’s a game at the end of the day. What’s the worst that’s going to happen? Worst-case scenario you get sent down.”

Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST

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