The Kansas City Royals announced this morning they have signed veteran pitcher Zach Miner to a minor league deal. He will certainly have an opportunity during spring training to obtain a job with the big league club. Miner is a 6'3" right-handed pitcher previously having played for the Detroit Tigers in 2006-09.
Miner, who will be 29 in March, was originally a fourth round selection of the Atlanta Braves in the 2000 draft. In 2005 he was traded with Roman Colon to Detroit for Kyle Farnsworth. Ironically all three pitchers have now been with the Royals since that trade. Miner made his debut in 2006 with the Tigers, posting a 7-6 record with a 4.84 ERA for a Detroit team that went to the World Series. He appeared in 27 games that season with 16 starts.
For his career Miner has a 25-20 record with a career ERA of 4.24 in 157 appearances (35 starts). Zach missed the 2010 season after having Tommy John Surgery. His best year was 2007 when he went 3-4 with 3.02 ERA and had a 56.1% groundball rate.
I don't mind the signing, there really is nothing to lose here. Miner has playoff experience that will help a young team, but I really hope the Royals are not expecting him to challenge as a starter for the back of the rotation. He has been converted to a spot starter over the past few years and primarily comes out of the bullpen. My hope is that is how the Royals intend to use Miner if he makes the big league team, especially so because he is just coming back from Tommy John.