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Open Thread - Game 39: Tigers (24-14) at Red Sox (26-12), 12:35 p.m. EST

Zach Miner (0-0, -.--) vs. Julian Tavarez (1-4, 6.60)

The news is coming too fast to keep up with! As Mark posted below, Miner is replacing Mike Maroth, who became sick during the night. So maybe it's just as well there was a rainout yesterday, but apparently, he was fine at the time. Miner had actually been called up from AAA Toledo anyway, in case the Tigers needed an extra arm for today's doubleheader. But now, the Tigers need him for sure. Let's hope he's awake after catching a 6 a.m. flight from Toledo. (Andrew Miller, in turn, won't be added to the big league roster until tomorrow.)

Unfortunately, Miner hasn't been doing too well with the Mud Hens. For the season, he's 0-4 with a 5.57 ERA. And in 42 innings, he's struck out 25 batters, while walking 20. But maybe a call-up to the majors - where he surely feels he should be - will give him the boost he needs. Also, if the Tigers' batters can just pretend Maroth is on the mound, maybe they'll give Miner the same copious run support. (Regardless, the plan is to send him back to Toledo after the game.)

For Boston, Tavarez has been the weak link in the pitching rotation, which is about what you'd expect from a fifth starter. He hasn't been as bad as Jeff Weaver or Sidney Ponson, but the Tigers have been pretty unrelenting to starting pitchers with a precarious job status. And with Jon Lester recovering nicely from lymphoma in Pawtucket, he might be ready to take Tavarez's spot in the Red Sox rotation after one more minor league start.

Short Hops:

▪▪ Pudge Rodriguez has a .467 (7-for-15) career average against Tavarez.

▪▪ In a Sports Illustrated survey of 464 MLB players, Sean Casey was the runaway most popular answer to the question "Who is the friendliest player in baseball?" Casey got 46% of the votes. No Detroit Tiger was on the "least friendly player" list (which was topped by Barry Bonds). Apparently, Daniel Cabrera couldn't drum up much venom toward Gary Sheffield.