Tag: Zach Miner

Countdown to Spring Training: 10 Non-Roster Invitees Who Could Earn a Contract

With the Philadelphia Phillies’ heist of former Cy Young-winner Cliff Lee from the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers stealing the spotlight in MLB, the countdown to Spring Training 2011 is being lost in the fray.

Big-name acquisitions in free agency, like Adrian Gonzalez heading to the Boston Red Sox, will always garner the most attention, but we can’t forget about those less-heralded players that will ultimately make the difference in who wins the World Series.

That being said, here’s a list of 10 non-roster invitees to Spring Training who could earn a spot in the majors.

And no, Kenny Powers doesn’t count.

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Zach Miner: Tommy John Surgery on Tap, Detroit Tiger Fans Hardly Upset

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.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Here’s an Interesting Stat for You: Bequeathed Runners

Baseball-reference has a stat that is rarely ever used: bequeathed runners. 

It’s the number of runners on base when a pitcher leaves the game.  Subsequently, there’s also a stat on how many of these runners score.  These runs are added to the starter’s ERA, even though the relief pitcher was pitching and, ultimately, allowed the runs to score. 

Want a full year of data? Look at the stats from 2009. 

Roy Halladay is the only starter who didn’t have a single bequeathed runner.  Think about that.  He started 32 games and left every single game without a runner on base.  Of course, leading the league in complete games helped.  His 2.79 ERA is a true representation of how he pitched.

On the opposite end are Jonathan Sanchez and Zach Miner who had 30 bequeathed runners apiece.  In Sanchez’ case, seven of them scored— his ERA ended up being 4.24. 

I’m not one to change stats, but I’ll do a “what if” here.  If none of Sanchez’ seven bequeathed runners would’ve scored, his ERA would have dropped to 3.86.  And if the Giants had an awful bullpen and all 30 of them would have scored, his ERA would skyrocket to 5.51. 

That’s a 1.65 range that his ERA could have fallen to.  Since less than half of the 30 scored, he was fortunate to be on the low end of that, but he could just easily have been on the high end.

Miner had a very similar ERA at 4.27, but 11 of his bequeathed runners scored.  Since he didn’t pitch as many innings as Sanchez, his range was higher.  His ERA could have been anywhere from 3.22 to 6.14; a difference of 2.92! 

Miner is an unusual case, since he only had 5 starts; the majority of bequeathed runs come from starters.  A pitcher’s bequeathed runners become another pitcher’s inherited runners, a more common stat that is used to gauge relievers.  Miner had 29 inherited runners and 10 of them scored; so I guess you could say his ERA is pretty accurate, as his 10 runs scored from inherited runners cancel out his 11 runs scored from bequeathed runners.  Are you as confused as I am? 

Who had the worst luck?  Probably Roy Oswalt.  11 of his 12 bequeathed runners scored.  His ERA would have fallen in the range of 3.57 to 4.17.  The low end of that was more in line of what was expected. 

The best luck?  A.J. Burnett.  Only 1 of his 19 bequeathed runners scored.  His ERA range was between 4.00 and 4.83. 

Another Yankee, Joba Chamberlain also had good luck, only 1 of his 14 bequeathed runner scored.  His ERA range was from 4.69 to 5.49.  The Yankees bullpen was really good (3.91 ERA) so this is understandable.

I could keep going on with other examples, but you get the idea. 

What does this all mean?  Not much. It’s a very interesting statistic, but l ike I said, I’m not one to change stats. 

This could, however, be a useful tool in fantasy baseball strategies. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

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