Another possible solution to the Tigers impending roster crunch involving the pitching staff emerged today when Zach Miner underwent an MRI on his tender right elbow. According to a tweet from Tom Gage, Miner shows no structural damage but his soreness could restrict his availability to the point that he would begin the season on the disabled list.
As much as it isn’t great news for Miner, this injury, along with left hander Bobby Seay’s lingering shoulder soreness, opens the door for the Tigers to put off some touch choices.
Miner was in no danger of not making the club when camp opened, but his inability to get ahead of hitters has raised more than a few concerns. It had been my thought that Miner was a candidate to be traded or released, rather than to make the team. But a trip to the disabled list would create an additional roster spot without having to jettison Miner.
Young hurlers like Josh Rainwater, Cody Satterwhite, and Robbie Weinhardt now have an increased opportunity to push for a spot in the Tigers bullpen, Eddie Bonine could also see his chances increase. Perhaps bigger for the Tigers, if Miner misses the start of the year, it is now even more possible that both Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis could make the team, though one of the two would be slated for relief work.
For what it’s worth, Miner had allowed 12 hits including three home runs in 6.2 innings this spring. In that time, he had allowed nine earned runs and three walks while striking out two.