I’m not even going to get into the Jack Wilson situation. If you want information on Jack Wilson and all the rumors surrounding the guy, go check out Bless You Boys, Ian has the scoop (or lack thereof) over there. Moving on.
A couple of days ago I wrote about the Tigers possibly looking at Texas catcher Gerald Laird. Laird is a decent catcher. He’ll contribute more on defense than at the dish but he’s not awful at the plate. I’ll put it this way, he’s a better catcher than Brandon Inge.
Laird’s current team, the Texas Rangers, is thought to be looking for pitching if they trade off any of their catchers. MLB.com reports that the player being mentioned in the Laird talks is Zach Miner. If this trade was proposed last June I think the Tigers should have jumped all over it. Now I’m not so sure. Let me explain.
I hate Miner as a relief pitcher. He always seems to fail at the most crucial moments. From Opening Day last season through July 1st, Miner pitched exclusively out of the Tigers bullpen. He wasn’t awful, but he sure wasn’t good. He posted an ERA of 4.23 and walked more batters than he struck out, not exactly the recipe for success out of the bullpen. However, as the season progressed and the Tigers rotation was hit with injuries, Miner got a shot at starting.
Miner started in his final 13 appearances of the season and gave up three of fewer earned runs in 9 of those starts (69%). Just for kicks here’s how many times other Tigers starters accomplished that feat over their final 13 starts:
- Kenny Rogers: 4 of 13 (31%)
- Nate Robertson: 5 of 13 (38%)
- Armando Galarraga: 9 of 13 (69%)
- Justin Verlander: 4 of 13 (31%)
Just to be clear, I do not think that Zach Miner is a better pitcher than Justin Verlander, but this does make you think a little bit doesn’t it? I mean, Miner will never be confused with an ace of a staff, but it’s certainly possible that he could be a very good fourth or fifth starter with the Tigers. The Tigers really lack big league arms in their rotation (thank you Nate Robertson, Kenny Rogers, and Dontrelle Willis) and Miner could be a very cheap yet affective pitcher for the club.
So, is it really worth giving up on Miner to pick up a catcher like Laird? I was talking to Ian about this yesterday and my first reaction was to say that, yes, the Tigers should sell high on Miner and flip him for Laird. Now I am not so sure.
What do you think?