Tigers re-acquire Zach Miner from Royals (updated)

A year and a half after the Tigers parted ways with starter/reliever Zach Miner, he’s back in the organization. Detroit re-acquired the now 30-year-old right-hander from Kansas City in exchange for cash.

Miner will report this weekend to Double-A Erie, where the Tigers were in need of pitching help.

Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star first reported the trade Friday morning. The Tigers later confirmed the deal.

“I’m very excited to be coming back,” Miner wrote Friday in an email to MLB.com. “Regardless of what level I’ll be pitching at, the opportunity to prove I’m healthy and ready to be a big league pitcher again is all I can really ask for.”

Miner is best known among Tigers fans for his surprising performance in Detroit’s rotation in the summer of 2006, filling in for injured Mike Maroth. He became a swing starter/reliever for the Tigers, mainly in the big leagues, for the next three years, including one spot start on May 17, 2007, when he flew from Toledo to Boston on short notice early in the morning and made an emergency start at Fenway Park that day when Maroth was seriously ill.

Miner hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2009. He was expected to be part of Detroit’s bullpen in 2010 before what appeared to be a minor arm injury in spring training turned out to be a torn elbow ligament, requiring Tommy John surgery.

Miner signed a minor-league contract with Kansas City after the 2010 season, hoping for his best shot at getting back to the Majors. He split last year between Double-A Northwest Arkansas as a starter (1-6, 7.16 in 11 starts) and Triple-A Omaha as a reliever (2-1, 1.59 in 12 games).

Miner has yet to pitch in a game this season. He reportedly had a clause in his contract that would allow him to become a free agent if he’s not on a 25-man Major League roster by May 15, according to the Kansas City Star.

“My hope is to make it a non issue and earn may way back to Detroit,” Miner responded, “because there really is nowhere else I’d want to play right now.”

While pitching at Double-A isn’t the ideal destination for Miner at this point in his career, it’s where the Tigers desperately need help. The SeaWolves entered Friday ranked next-to-last in the Eastern League with a 5.05 ERA, including a league high of 60 walks over 114 innings. They’ve used 15 pitchers already.


Jason- where was Zach for the start of this season? I see no record of him on any minor league roster to start the season.

Zach’s work for the Tigers in 2006 and again in 2009 was very much under appreciated, IMO. Leyland seemed to favor him in a long relief role, on the theory that his two seamer (sinker) would make him an ideal guy to enter the game with runners on base, in addition to being able to work multiple innings. He never worked out well in that role, but his brief stints in the rotation gave the team some much needed depth, and I often felt he’d be a better option than some of the others that they ran through the revolving door at the back end of the rotation.

Last year’s numbers are very misleading, as he started out just trying to get healthy and those stats reflect his recovery time. He got better as the season wore on and he built up some strength. I wouldn’t count on much, but wish him luck.

He was in extended spring training. Not injured, but supposedly catching up on workload, because he didn’t throw a lot in camp.

Wow it appears the tigers farm system is quality pitcher deficient. Not a good thing when your trying to compete at a level to reach and have a successfull postseason.

tigers farm system has tons of quality pitching – so much so we can’t hardly decide which one to bring up. That’s not the problem – the problem that on any particular night either a) our bats are disappointing, b) or our bullpen sh!ts the bed.
Smyly and Wilk are OK 5th starters and will only improve.
does anyone miss the days of complaining about brad penny’s 5th starter performances?

Smyly is a good starter, and a potential to be a very good starter. Wilk is a fill-in and has potential to be a good reliever in the bigs. Starting to think that you give Below the starts for Wilk, move Wilk to bullpen and bring back Villareal for Schlereth.

Tonights lineup, from MLive:

1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Brennan Boesch, DH
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Ryan Raburn, RF
7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
8. Alex Avila, C
9. Brandon Inge, 2B

RHP Rick Porcello.

The Tigers are fine in the pitching department in the minors. The way that the talent is distributed this year is a bit odd, as they have quite a bit at Toledo, and at Lakeland, but they make like a dung sandwich out of Erie. The current issue is that a few injuries have depleted the ranks and there wasn’t a whole lot in AA ball to begin with.

You got it, Patrick.
I also agree with you about Miner’s previous use by Leyland. Long time readers here may (or may not) remember my constant urgings to use Zach as a starter. That was before I switched to the Santiago campaign. 🙂

When I first saw this headline I was hoping the Tigers re-acquired Zach to replace Schlereth. At this point, he can’t be much worse.

Lynn Henning kind of hinted the Tigers could elevate Erie LH Kenny Faulk; that may be why they needed Miner as a replacement in AA.

Hopefully this means the end of Daniel Schlereth.

Let’s trade Inge & Schlereth and give Miner and Patterson a chance.

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