Miner leaguer

Zach Miner paid the price for a 4 walk effort on Tuesday night with an assignment to Toledo. Aquilino Lopez who was being stretched out as a starter has been recalled to provide a strike thrower in the pen.

Both moves are warranted, but my first thought when hearing of this was Denny Bautista. The Tigers thought they were better off ditching Bautista than optioning Miner or other optionable pitchers.

Bautista isn’t going to make or break this team so I don’t want to make too much of it. And his qualifications as a strike thrower were dubious at best. I just don’t understand what changed that dramatically that Miner couldn’t be sent down 2 weeks ago.

11 thoughts on “Miner leaguer”

  1. Between May 9 and June 22 Miner was actually a very effective pitcher. He gave up only one run, struck out 9 and walked 8 in 21 IP. At the time Bautista was designated Miner was good and Bautista wasn’t. I think the trade was made primarily as a favor to Denny or with the assumption that he wouldn’t accept a minor league assignment and become a free agent.

    In his last 5.1 Miner has walked 7, struck out 2 and miraculously only allowed 1 run.

    I think the bigger question is what happened to Miner and why is he on a shorter leash than he was in April? Additionally why replace him with the guy you wanted to stretch into a starter?

    Is the farm that bad? Yeah, I guess it is.

  2. Miner is on a shorter leash than in April because Zumaya and Rodney are back, and Dolsi has emerged. Those guys can (on their best days) effectively lock down the late innings. Miner was used in that role sometimes, but is no longer needed.

    I hope they are thinking of stretching Miner out too. We could use starters because Bonine certainly isn’t the answer and Galarraga is already pitching on borrowed time. No idea what they’ll get from Lopez.

  3. I second the notion of hoping they are going to stretch Miner out to start. If he gets his control back to where it was last month, I have no problem with the notion of him putting in five innings or so every five days. It’s certainly no worse than throwing Bonine out there.

  4. Miner had been fine over the past month or so, aside from the recent Dontrelle Willis Syndrome he contracted. His ERA is under 2 for the last 28 days. I think sending him down was knee-jerkish. Wouldn’t be surprised to see the same fate befall Mr. Bonine.

  5. “I just don’t understand what changed that dramatically that Miner couldn’t be sent down 2 weeks ago.”

    The main thing is that Rodney and Zumaya have now shown they’re at least part of the way back. Bautista became superfluous with these 2 even on the roster, and it’s Miner’s turn now that he’s no longer needed as a stopgap setup guy solution.

    If they keep Miner around at all, it seems like they would want him starting in Toledo with a view toward bringing him up as a starter again, but only as a last resort. I don’t see him coming back at all except as a desperate measure. Miner has not been impressive coming in with runners on, hasn’t struck me as any kind of real bullpen guy at all except maybe mop up, and it’s hard to believe the Tigers all of a sudden see a future for him as a starter after essentially giving up on it.

    From the talk about Lopez being back for the bullpen, I’ll assume the Tigers have said as much. Seems very strange to me to send Lopez – one of the best relievers – to Toledo to stretch out, only to bring him back up for the pen, especially if it’s only for long relief. You’ve already got Dolsi to go at least 3, and Fossum (for what it’s worth) to mop up. With Zumaya and Rodney back and in some kind of shape, they already have their setup guys. Where does Lopez fit in? Toledo and back just to be a mop up guy? They could have stretched him out in Detroit and skipped the wretched Casey Fossum thing altogether. Sounds as weird to me as Guillen in LF.

    Then again, a trio of setup guys might be necessary. It’s not as though getting more than 6 out of any starter is a given.

  6. The Tigers are just trying to figure out who the best guys are.
    That’s why Lopez is back. They needed to see if he could be an our emergency starter.
    That’s why Guillen was in LF for a few games. That’s something they wanted to look at if Guillen doesn’t work out at 3rd.

    That’s why Willis and Galarraga split a start.

    That’s what I like about the Tigers. They are doing everything possible to find the best roster of players. If something ain’t working, then they do everything they can to fix it.

  7. To my mind anyway, there have been a staggering number of incomprehensible personnel decisions this year – who’s on first, who’s on third, who’s in left field, who’s a starter, who’s a reliever, who stays up, who goes down, who just goes; players rotated in and out of Toledo more frequently than changes of underwear; serviceable players traded for….nothing; and so on. And with the season only half over…..

  8. I find something to agree with in both Chief’s and Vince’s posts.

    On the one hand, I do like the fact that the Tigers make some rather unorthodox and bold moves. No one can claim they’re not an interesting team to follow.

    On the other hand, I find some of the moves this season (some with their roots in the offseason) baffling and seemingly counterproductive. I include in this some things that seemed like obvious choices that were ignored.

    If I were privy to the same information as the decision-makers, maybe I’d make some of the same moves I disagree with. Who knows. It would nice to know everything, maybe, but part of the fun and the frustration of being a fan is not knowing everything. Doesn’t stop us from making believe we know enough.

  9. The decision to send Miner down based on a couple bad innings, after an extended period where he was quite effective is the classic example of over-reacting to a small sample size. Dombrowski is burning options like he needs to heat his house with ’em. I also agree that the Tigs pulled the plug too quickly on Bautista…

    What has been lost so far in this discussion is the loss of Bonderman — a fact that has to be at the center of the Tigers’ thoughts. They need a guy who can contribute to the rotation during a pennant race.

    Quick quiz: Which one of these players should not be in the majors: Cruceta – Miner – Bautista – Lopez – Bonine. Hint: Rhymes with “bovine.” Seems like the Tigers have tried every answer but the right one. Are they really going to go with Bonine? That’s the plan?

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