MLive.com's Steve Kornacki wonders if Zach Miner is still in the mix for that fifth starter's job, between the 3.1 scoreless innings he pitched today and Nate Robertson's thumb injury (the prognosis on which will be reported tomorrow).
But what if Robertson's swollen left thumb takes more than a week to heal?
What if Jeremy Bonderman needs more time to ramp up his velocity?
And what if Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland and general manager Dave Dombrowski decided rookie Rick Porcello needs more seasoning in the minors?
But I don't think it's a coincidence that Miner started pitching better after being told he wouldn't be in the starting rotation. Something seems to have clicked in his head or loosened his shoulders. Maybe it's that he stopped "over-thinking," as Leyland thinks. Or maybe he just chilled out after knowing where he stood. (Miner basically says as much in Kornacki's article.)
Sitting here at my computer (in my pajamas, of course), I'm probably not in the position to question anyone's mental toughness. Especially when I've come nowhere close to competing at the major league level. But crumbling under expectations was a big problem for last year's Tigers team, so I get kind of antsy when I see signs of it creeping up again.
What do you folks think? A little bit of overreaction? And does Miner really still have a shot at the starting rotation?