Zach Miner.....does that name even ring a bell to anyone? Certainly not in 2010. Ok, you might remember him from such exciting shows as Imploding 'Pen 2009 and Fail 'Pen 2008.
Miner is an everyman reliever and sometime starter most notable for not being notable. The story is always the same—average stuff, below average strikeout rate, above average walk rate, never an exceptional outing, and usually pitches as if he belongs on the trash heap.
I could never understand why manager Jim Leyland had such a man-crush on Miner. Yes, perhaps it was because after 2006 he did not have much else to be excited about. Joel Zumaya spent most of the time injured, Fernando Rodney was wild, and Todd Jones stole most of his energy.
Leyland always loved Miner in late game situations because of his "sinker" ball and ability to get ground balls with runners on base to try to turn double plays.
That "sinker" ball was usually the one that couldn't be thrown for strikes, was smacked into the outfield, or deposited into the seats.
Let's face it, I've got close to no love for Miner. He is at best a mediocre pitcher whose value has always been overstated by management. Then again, criticizing Leyland and his use of the bullpen is something I could write a volume of articles about.
Well, no one has to worry about Zach Miner this year. That is, except for whoever is putting him under the knife on Friday.
Miner's season is over, he is having elbow ligament replacement "Tommy John" surgery on Friday.
Miner was shut down during spring training due to discomfort in his elbow. He finally resumed throwing at the beginning of May, in extended spring training, before being shut down again.
Did anyone miss him?
In an unrelated note, the Tiger bullpen has been phenomenal in 2010. Ryan Perry had a rough outing against the Mariners today, but one melt down can be forgiven in the light of how great he has been this year.
I eat more potatoes than ever, wash them down with Coca Cola, and wish I drove a Mazda. What's better, Miner has been replaced by someone who is actually good.
Not just average so far, Eddie Bonine has been great. #mce_temp_url# (I'm just leaving this disgusting looking link sitting here in the middle of my article since I still can't figure out the link changer after seven tries).
So Miner can take all the time he needs to recover. Believe me, he is going to need it. This is "Tommy John" surgery we are talking about. Miner's 2010 season is done and his 2011 season is now in jeopardy.
Yet, the Tiger's bullpen continues to destroy opposing hitters. Maybe Miner does his best pitching from the DL.