As far as “falls from grace” are concerned, Jair Jurrjens has had one of the more severe ones in the recent history of MLB. After all, Jurrjens went from NL Cy Young favorite at the half-way mark of 2011 to virtually out of baseball in two years. However, it appears that, at least in the case of Jurrjens, you can go home again.
The #Tigers have signed Jair Jurrjens to a AAA contract. He will join the Mudhens on Friday.
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) July 24, 2013
With that casual, Wednesday afternoon Twitter announcement, Jurrjens was back with the Detroit Tigers organization for the first time since 2007. As far as going “home”, Jurrjens came up as a Minor Leaguer with Detroit before being dealt to Atlanta between the 2007 and 2008 seasons, and emerging as one of the more effective young starters in the National League with the Braves.
He posted two different seasons with a sub-3.00 ERA with Atlanta, and while the peripherals were never really there, he was a solid option for the duration of his time until a mid-2011 injury. However in 2012, the wheels came off for Jurrjens as he posted a 6.89 ERA in 48.1 innings, and after that performance, the Braves let him walk.
After an unsuccessful reclamation project in Baltimore, Jurrjens was available, and the Tigers, perhaps remembering his previous prowess, swooped in. Frankly, I don’t believe that Jurrjens will ever be a solid starting pitcher in the Major Leagues again, but even if Detroit has a small chance to rediscover his Atlanta form, it’s worth the risk.