SEATTLE -- Tigers reliever Zach Miner will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery to reconstruct the ulnar colateral ligament in his right elbow, ending speculation that he might try to rehab through it.
The Tigers announced the news Wednesday after Miner consulted with noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lewis Yocum, who will perform the surgery Friday in Los Angeles.
Miner was diagnosed two weeks ago with a partial ligament tear after dealing with elbow problems since the middle of Spring Training. The question he faced with a partial tear was whether to try to rehab and pitch through it by strengthening the surrounding muscles or to undergo surgery now.
A typical rehab process takes the better part of a year, usually 9-12 months, before the pitcher is throwing in games again. With that in mind, Miner had to think about next season as much as this one. In the end, he opted for the surgery, ending what has been a frustating few months for him.
Miner came into the season primed for a major role in Detroit's bullpen after doing everything from spot starting to long relief to occasional setup duty last year. He went 7-5 with a 4.29 ERA in 2009, but had the bulk of his success as a reliever.
Miner came into camp healthy, but the 27-year-old was shut down from pitching after five outings with what was originally believed to be tendinitis in his elbow. He opened the season on the disabled list but was expected to be back in Detroit quickly.
A slow recovery process to get the pain out of his elbow soon changed those plans. Miner returned to Detroit to let doctors re-examine his elbow with another set of tests once his pain returned during an extended spring training appearance.
Worth hitting more than expected
SEATTLE -- Danny Worth joined the Tigers' organization three years ago with a defense-first reputation, and his emphasis on his glove will never change. His ability to hit, however, has.
On a team with established hitters, no Tigers player entered Wednesday's series finale against the Mariners with better hit totals for the road trip than Worth, whose 7-for-17 performance included a three-hit afternoon Sunday at Dodger Stadium before going 0-for-4 Wednesday agaisnt the Mariners.
He's 8-for-24 with three RBIs since the Tigers purchased his contract from Triple-A Toledo a week and a half ago, and he has struck out just twice in that span. He has essentially built on over his performance with the Mud Hens, for whom he was batting .274 at the time of his callup.
It doesn't make him an offensive weapon, not without an extra-base hit in the Majors yet. Still, for a team that had been struggling for signs of offensive life in the bottom third of the order for the past six weeks, the Tigers will take it.
At the very least, Worth's exceeding the expectations that came about from his first couple years as a pro.
"Originally, I think he was kind of lost on the radar," Leyland said. "This is a projection process, and he's a perfect example of that. Here's a kid who came in with a great defensive reputation, and rightfully so, that was probably not a real strong hitter at the time.
"But this kid is a different animal right now than he was before. He's bigger. He's stronger. The ball sounds better off his bat."
Worth is stronger, a process he credits to offseason workouts that included as many laps as he could possibly swim in a pool as well as the traditional lifting program.
"The first day I went out there, I thought it would be a piece of cake, and I did three laps," Worth said. "I got up to like 50 by the end."
Leyland won't tinker with weekend rotation
SEATTLE -- After further consideration over Monday's off-day, the Tigers won't be skipping any of their starting pitchers this weekend despite two off-days this week. Instead, they'll give an extra day of rest to all their starters and push back Armando Galarraga by another day.
Dontrelle Willis will start Friday's series opener against Oakland, followed by Rick Porcello and Armando Galarraga. The extra day will allow Porcello some extra time to heal after two hard-hit comebackers left their marks. He still has a huge bruise on the back of his right leg thanks to a shot off his hamstring from Dodgers third baseman Blake DeWitt.
Of greater concern was the shot to the forearm from Dodgers slugger James Loney. But that appears to be fine.
"He's got a nasty bruise on his leg, a big one," manager Jim Leyland said, "and his forearm's a little sore."
Galarraga will pitch on seven days' rest after the Dodgers roughed him up Saturday. He was available in the bullpen Tuesday but wasn't needed. He'll instead pitch on the side and try to get more consistency on a slider that normally is his best pitch but which the Dodgers hit for two home runs Saturday.
By flipping days between Porcello and Galarraga, Leyland also sets up his rotation in a way that doesn't have Willis and Galarraga pitching on consecutive days. That makes a difference for Detroit's bullpen, which has had to work longer in their outings over the past week and a half.
By not skipping anybody, the Tigers will also give Justin Verlander an extra day of rest before he takes the mound against the A's on Memorial Day afternoon.
Tigers' Cabrera, wife welcome second child
SEATTLE -- Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera and his wife Rosangel are celebrating the birth of their second child, a baby girl.
Isabella Cabrera was born Tuesday night in Miami, where the family lives for most of the offseason. She joins the couple's first daughter, Rosangel, in the Cabrera family.
Miguel Cabrera missed the series against the Mariners to be with his wife for the birth. He's expected to return to Detroit for the start of their seven-game homestand Friday night against the A's.
Without Cabrera in the cleanup spot, the Tigers improvised their lineup for a second consecutive day. Magglio Ordonez again batted cleanup, but Ryan Raburn -- playing first base with Cabrera out -- moved into the third spot against M's lefty Jason Vargas. Johnny Damon, who batted third on Tuesday, moved back to his customary second spot Wednesday for the first time in nearly a week.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.