Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Miner Is A Major Part Of Tigers Rotation

Who's Mike Maroth again?

Zach Miner has been the righthanded version of Maroth, and the Tigers' starting rotation hasn't missed a beat.

Miner, 3-1 after last night's complete-game, 10-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers, sports a nifty 2.08 ERA. He has fit in nicely with a rotation that gives up runs almost begrudgingly -- with all the ease of pulling teeth.

Miner was part of the Kyle Farnsworth trade, made last summer when the Tigers shipped Farnsworth to the Atlanta Braves. The Tigers also got Roman Colon in the deal, which was sharply criticized at the time because it appeared to be a white flag waved. Some thought the Tigers should have kept Farnsworth and tried to sign him as a free agent after the season. Besides, the critics said, the team might have a shot at the playoffs. Some of the critics wore the Old English D, but they had hardly played like playoff contenders, so they reaped what they sowed.

Farnsworth wasn't signed by the Braves, and now he pitches for the Yankees. If the Braves, a model of consistent winning, couldn't sign him, then what would the Tigers' chances have been? GM Dave Dombrowski knew more than most. Fancy that.

Miner's insertion into a rotation that has been as solid as a rock is yet another indicator that this might be a very special baseball summer in Detroit. In the past, a Zach Miner type would have imploded; can you say "Nate Cornejo"? But this is 2006, and these are Jim Leyland's Tigers, and that means that naturally, Miner is a keeper.

So what do the Tigers do with Maroth, when the lefty comes off the disabled list? Has there ever been a Wally Pipp of the pitching variety?


Blogger Ozz said...

It's still going to be awhile before Maroth returns, right? Maybe late August or September?

I would imagine that when he returns, he gets his slot back, but Miner will also get starts. Having him available will allow Leyland to rest everyone in the rotation a little more, which could be especially helpful for a guy like Verlander.

2:18 PM  
Blogger Big Al said...

I wouldn't be concerned with Maroth yet. As Ozz said, it'll be a couple of months before it's even an issue.

I still worry about Verlander's workload. If Miner is still pitching well, and Maroth comes back at the same effectiveness, it gives the Marlboro Man a way rest Verlander.

2:45 PM  

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