Results tagged ‘ Zach Miner ’

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.

Zach Miner signs with Royals

The Tigers had every intent at keeping Zach Miner after they designated the right-hander for assignment last month, and Miner had plenty of interest in sticking with Detroit. But there was more interest in Miner than one might expect for a swing pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery.
And when it came down to picking a deal, Miner said, the Royals were a better opportunity for him. Kansas City announced its minor-league contract with Miner on Friday. (UPDATE: Miner will earn $950,000 if he spends the entire season with the big club, any DL time included. That’s the same salary for which he signed with the Tigers last year.)
“There were a few teams that checked in, and the Tigers and the Royals were the most aggressive,” Miner wrote in an email to MLB.com. “But in the end, we just felt like KC was going to be a very good opportunity going forward, not only for this year, but for a few years down the road.”
The prevailing thought a month ago was that no team would value Miner more coming off surgery than the Tigers, who knew what they had in him after four seasons in Detroit. But the Tigers also had it clear that they envision Miner as a reliever, not a starter, and they go into 2011 with potentially few openings in their bullpen between the addition of Joaquin Benoit and the development of their young relievers.
Kansas City, on the other hand, has openings abound, including in the rotation, and Miner said the Royals feel like he could start. 
It wasn’t an easy decision for Miner, who goes from being able to drive to Spring Training from his Florida home to now trekking to Arizona. But it was arguably the best decision for his career.
“I really enjoyed being a Tiger,” Miner said, “and loved playing for Jim Leyland.”
The Royals have seen enough of Miner to know what they’re getting if he’s healthy. He has pitched more innings in his career against Kansas City (49) than against any other opponent, going 5-4 with a 4.22 ERA in seven starts and 10 relief appearances.
What this means for Detroit isn’t clear quite yet, and might not be until we know how soon Miner is ready to pitch in games this coming season and how Joel Zumaya looks heading into camp. If Zumaya’s ready and Ryan Perry matures as a reliever, the relief corps is pretty well stocked from the seventh inning on. With both Miner and Eddie Bonine gone, though, the Tigers have lost their two experienced right-handed long relievers, as well as two ground-ball specialists. The Tigers might add another minor-league invite for depth, but at first glance, there’s a good opportunity for Robbie Weinhardt to make this team out of camp.

With Werth gone, Boras, Tigers talk Magglio

The Tigers had barely arrived here at baseball’s Winter Meetings on
Sunday when the Jayson Werth signing made waves through the Walt Disney
World Swan & Dolphin Resort. It could have a major effect on what
the Tigers do here once business begins in earnest on Monday.

That includes a potential reunion with Magglio Ordonez, which now looks
more viable than ever. The Tigers’ best shot at an offensive upgrade
might well be a return of their former batting champion.

“I certainly know we’ll be talking,” agent Scott Boras said of the Tigers and Ordonez.

Boras made the comment after the Nationals announced their seven-year
deal with Werth, whom Boras also represents. Washington reportedly
outbid other interested teams by offering a longer contract at an
average of $18 million per season.

The Tigers have been viewed around baseball as among the most interested
teams in Werth. Team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski,
however, said they weren’t in the bidding.

“We were not involved,” Dombrowski told MLB.com in an email Sunday.

Boras told MLB.com that he talked with Dombrowski quite a bit this week,
on Ordonez and other topics. He said they agreed that they would
continue their conversations here. It’s worth noting that Boras also
represents reliever Zach Miner, whom the Tigers designated for
assignment last week but whom the Tigers would be interested in bringing
back.

Miner non-tendered; Zumaya, Galarraga stay

The only nontender from the Tigers today is reliever Zach Miner, whose fate was set in that regard when he was designated for assignment on Monday. Detroit will indeed tender contracts to Joel Zumaya and Armando Galarraga.

Tigers designate Miner for assignment

miner.jpgUPDATE: Miner and the Tigers have expressed mutual interest in re-signing. It’s not a certainty just yet, but givne the situation, with Miner rehabbing and potentially not ready for the start of the season, a return would make sense.

The Tigers opened a roster spot for Victor Martinez on Monday by designating reliever Zach Miner for assignment, potentially parting ways with the versatile swingman after a season lost to Tommy John surgery.

The moves clears up one of Detroit’s potential arbitration decisions. Miner was eligible for arbitration and would’ve been a nontender candidate later this week, so he’ll automatically become a free agent after Thursday night’s nontender deadline. By designating him, though, the Tigers still hold the rights to try to re-sign him.

If he does re-sign, it basically means that Miner will continue his rehab from Tommy John surgery as a non-roster invite to Spring Training rather than as a member of the 40-man roster. If Miner goes elsewhere, he would likely have to seek a minor league deal with a spring training invite from the Tigers or another team.

Miner, who will turn 29 years old in March, was a versatile member of Detroit’s pitching staff for the better part of four seasons before elbow pain in camp last February derailed his season before it could start. Originally diagnosed with elbow tendinitis, Miner tried to rest and rehab his elbow and nearly made his way back before suffering a major setback in an extended spring game in mid-May. He was diagnosed with a partially torn elbow ligament and underwent surgery around Memorial Day weekend.

If Miner’s healthy and in camp with the Tigers, he has a chance to compete for a long relief job or maybe serve as a starting candidate, depending on Detroit’s remaining moves this offseason. Either way, he’ll need to regain the movement on his sinker and establish himself again as a ground-ball pitcher.

Miner posted a 7-5 record and 4.29 ERA in 2009, allowing 101 hits and 45 walks over 92 1/3 innings in 51 games, five of them starts. He owns a 25-20 record and a 4.24 ERA in 157 Major League appearances since the Tigers called him up as a fill-in starter in 2006.

The move eliminates one of the non-tender decisions the Tigers faced Thursday with their arbitration eligible players. Detroit will still have to decide whether to offer contracts to starter Armando Galarraga and reliever Joel Zumaya.

Miner to have Tommy John surgery

Zach Miner will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery to reconstruct the ulnar colateral ligament in his right elbow, ending speculation that he might try to rehab through it.

The Tigers announced the news Wednesday after Miner consulted with noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lewis Yocum, who will perform the surgery Friday in Los Angeles.

Miner was diagnosed two weeks ago with a partial ligament tear after dealing with elbow problems since the middle of Spring Training. The question he faced with a partial tear was whether to try to rehab and pitch through it by strengthening the surrounding muscles or to undergo surgery now.

A typical rehab process takes the better part of a year, usually 9-12 months, before the pitcher is throwing in games again. With that in mind, Miner had to think about next season as much as this one. In the end, he opted for the surgery, ending what has been a frustating few months for him.

Miner came into the season primed for a major role in Detroit’s bullpen after doing everything from spot starting to long relief to occasional setup duty last year. He went 7-5 with a 4.29 ERA in 2009, but had the bulk of his success as a reliever.

Miner came into camp healthy, but the 27-year-old was shut down from pitching after five outings with what was originally believed to be tendinitis in his elbow. He opened the season on the disabled list but was expected to be back in Detroit quickly.

A slow recovery process to get the pain out of his elbow soon changed those plans. Miner returned to Detroit to let doctors re-examine his elbow with another set of tests once his pain returned during an extended Spring Training appearance.

Miner to get second opinion on elbow

Zach Miner told MLB.com Sunday he will get a second opinion on his ailing right elbow this coming week before deciding whether to opt for surgery now or try a rehab process.

An MRI exam in Detroit Friday suggested Miner has a partial tear of the ulnar colateral ligament in his right elbow. Surgery would cost him the rest of the season, but he could choose to try to avoid surgery and pitch through it by strengthening the muscles around the injury while it heals.

“Obviously I’m disappointed, but at the same time, not surprised,” Miner wrote in an email. “I could tell something hasn’t been right, but I was going to try to get through whatever discomfort I was having, hoping it would work its way out. I’m going to get a second opinion this week and go from there.”

Miner has been on the 15-day disabled list since the final days of Spring Training. Eddie Bonine and Brad Thomas have filled in well in his absence.

Zach Miner has partially torn elbow ligament

The news coming out of the Tigers medical staff was not good for reliever Zach Miner, who has been diagnosed with a partial tear of the ulnar colateral ligament in his right elbow.

Miner underwent an MRI exam Friday in Detroit. The results showed a partial tear, significant enough to be causing the trouble he’s been dealing with since Spring Training. He had been making slow progress until Thursday, when his elbow didn’t feel right during a two-inning stint in extended Spring Training.

Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Saturday afternoon that Miner is now looking at his options. He can try to rehab his way through the injury and strengthen all the muscles around the damaged ligament until it gets better, or he could have surgery, which would cost him the season.

“Miner’s not good,” manager Jim Leyland said. “We won’t be seeing Zach for a while, that I can assure you.”

Miner in Detroit for exam on elbow

Zach Miner was back in the Tigers clubhouse today, but as he admitted, it isnt under the best of circumstances. Hes scheduled to be examined by Dr. Stephen Lemos today after feeling some discomfort in his elbow yesterday during a two-inning performance in extended Spring Training. Not sure yet if its anything serious. He threw well yesterday, so it wouldnt seem to be anything devastating. Still, it could be the difference between Miner being on track for a rehab assignment soon and a setback that pushes back his rehab process into June.

Injury updates: Slow going for Miner

The roster is set, the bags are packed and the Tigers are about to head north. It’s a pretty quiet morning here in Lakeland. It’s a travel day except for those who are staying back. Jeremy Bonderman is one of them, since he’ll be pitching in a minor league game this weekend to stay fresh between now and his scheduled start next Saturday in Detroit. The other two guys are the injured Tigers, Zach Miner and Bobby Seay.

Seay, we know, is going to be here a while. He’s going to get his rehab plan from Dr. James Andrews shortly, and then go about the exercises he needs to strengthen his shoulder and take stress off his torn rotator cuff, or at least the specific tendons involved in the tear.

Miner, meanwhile, looks like he’s going to be on the disabled list longer than the minimum stay. Because the Tigers placed on the DL last week, he’s eligible to be activated as soon as next weekend, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. While his arm is getting a lot stronger, he still has some discomfort in his elbow. He isn’t going to be cleared to throw until he’s pain-free, so it’s slow going right now.

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