Notes: Miner continues rehab at Triple-A
Club to re-evaluate right-hander after two outings
DETROIT -- Zach Miner returned to Comerica Park on Monday from his rehab assignment. It turned out to be a brief stopover.
Miner, on the 15-day disabled list since June 6 with elbow tendinitis, will go from Detroit to continue his rehab at Triple-A Toledo, where he'll pitch an inning each on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Tigers will re-evaluate him after that.
It's a plan the Tigers originally had for him last week at Erie. However, a doubleheader rainout last Tuesday pushed back those plans, leaving Miner pitching single innings on separate days. He gave up two hits and struck out two in a scoreless inning Wednesday before allowing a run on two hits Saturday.
Miner was expected to pitch two innings on Saturday, but he was close enough to his pitch count that the SeaWolves had him finish the balance of his work in the bullpen afterwards.
"He was healthy -- threw the ball with good velocity," manager Jim Leyland said. "No pain or anything -- wasn't sharp."
Healthwise, however, Miner said he hasn't felt any discomfort since taking the mound again, which is the more important factor for him.
"It feels really good right now," Miner said, "so I assume it'll still feel good [after Wednesday]. I think they want to see how I bounce back."
Miner won't be back Thursday, since he probably wouldn't be available after throwing during consecutive days. He could conceivably return during the weekend series against the Twins.
The Tigers team which Miner rejoined in presence on Sunday was a slightly different one than he left when he went to Erie last Tuesday. Both Wilfredo Ledezma and Mike Maroth were still on the Tigers roster when Miner left, and Macay McBride was a member of Atlanta's bullpen. McBride and Miner were teammates for several years in the Braves system before Miner came over in the Kyle Farnsworth trade.
"He's a country boy," Miner said of the lifelong Georgia resident, now getting settled into Detroit.
Wilson back after surgery: Also rejoining the team with his presence on Monday was catcher Vance Wilson, who underwent Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm two weeks ago. He had shed the cast he had to wear for the first eight days, and now has to wear a soft mechanical brace that keeps him from extending his arm too far.
Once the brace comes off in about 4-5 weeks, he'll be cleared to begin basic exercises to slowly build the strength back in his arm. He's not expected to throw again until at least October.
Wilson underwent the procedure after doctors determined he had ligament damage in his elbow. When he aggravated the injury during a rehab stint at Toledo, the ligament tore off. After further examination leading up to the surgery, they also found bone spurs that had aggravated his nerve.
Wilson is expected to be out through at least into the start of next season.
Thanks to Junior: Todd Jones had forgotten the request he had for his old teammate Ken Griffey Jr. Then he opened the package waiting for him at Comerica Park when the Tigers returned home Monday.
It was back in 2004, when Jones spent the first four months of the season in the Reds bullpen. He was kidding around with Griffey one day when he jokingly asked him for a home-run bat -- not just any bat, but one which he used for just one swing and hit a home run.
Jones was dealt to the Phillies at the trading deadline that year, and he and Junior haven't talked about it since.
When Jones came to the clubhouse on Monday, he had a box waiting for him. In it was a bat signed by Griffey to Jones. On the part of the barrel where he hit the ball, he had written, "No. 577."
Griffey hit his 577th career home run against the Indians on June 8. The package was postmarked a few days later.
"It had to be one swing with a brand new bat with a home run," Jones said. "And three years later, he remembered it and he sent it to me. That was the coolest thing I think I've ever had happen to me."
No appeal yet: Gary Sheffield said Monday he has not yet heard from the Commissioner's office to set up a hearing for his appeal of his three-game suspension from last month in Cleveland. The suspension stemmed from his altercation May 31 with home-plate umpire Greg Gibson, who believed Sheffield threw the handle of his broken bat in Gibson's direction following a groundout. Gibson ejected Sheffield from the game, prompting a heated argument between the two that prompted Leyland and catcher Ivan Rodriguez to intervene.
Coming up: Nate Robertson (4-6, 5.07) returns to the Tigers rotation by facing the team he faced just before going on the disabled list with a tired arm. Game time is 7:05 p.m. ET for the second game of the four-game set between the Tigers and the Rangers at Comerica Park.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.