Miner out of rotation running

The shuffling of Rick Porcello pushed Zach Miner out of what might’ve been a starting assignment for Saturday. But it isn’t just the Spring Training rotation in which Miner is on the outside looking in.

Manager Jim Leyland told Miner on Saturday that barring something unforeseen, he will not be in the Tigers rotation when the season opens in little more than two weeks.

That confirms what had been expected, that Miner would be used as a reliever on this club. Whether he’s set to make the Tigers bullpen, however, is a question Leyland left unanswered when he talked with reporters Saturday morning.

The recent performance of left-hander Nate Robertson, who has had back-to-back solid performances, might well have accelerated the decision to pull Miner from the starting competition. Robertson, Miner and Dontrelle Willis were viewed as the leading candidates going into camp, with Porcello as a long shot before his continued strong performances and impressive poise seemingly forced his way into serious consideration.

While Porcello and Robertson have started to stand out, Miner has had a statistically rough Spring Training, allowing 14 earned runs on 23 hits over 13 innings. He had been relatively consistent throwing strikes until his final outing last Monday, when he walked three Cardinals over as many innings.

5 Comments

John Sterling said on the Yankees’ radio broadcast today that on Sheffield’s first at-bat today he did not use his bat waggle and hit a hard fly ball to left that Damon had to dive for and catch. Then on his second at-bat he went back to the waggle and lined a single to left. Did you notice this Jason? Is he working on losing the waggle?

jason, any thoughts on who might be traveling to port st lucie on wednesday? pitchers, hitters?

Maybe JL told Miner at this time to help him out. I’m not sure that Zach was responding well to the starter competition. Just a thought?
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Looks like Nate has about locked that spot down.
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In terms of wins and losses, the Tigers have had a decent spring considering the middle of the lineup has been elsewhere.
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I was reading some comments regarding whether Derek Lee should join Team USA. I have no opinion either way, but it was surprising that some people didn’t understand the entire provisional roster setup. They seemed to think USA could just go get any other firstbaseman. Didn’t stop them from commenting, though. :-)
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–Rich

Way too early to know who’s going to Port St. Lucie. Not sure yet when players will return from the World Baseball Classic and resume playing. And when they do return, you have to figure out the accompanying roster moves to ship out Minor Leaguers. I’ll probably have a better idea by Monday.

The few relative certainties are that Nate Robertson is scheduled to make the start, being on a five-day rotation, and that Gary Sheffield probably won’t make the trip from Tampa, since he usually is not scheduled for the road trips along Florida’s Atlantic coast..

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