First, starting with the big lefty, Andrew Miller. Some questioned whether or not Miller was far enough along that he could compete at the big league level. While A-ball is certainly a far cry from that level, Miller proved his worth in Lakeland in just a few appearances.
Miller struck out nine in five innings of work, giving up just two hits in that span. And as impressive as the numbers are, reports from Lakeland indicate the battles were even more lopsided – Miller was simply on a different level.
Is that level big league? Maybe, maybe not. But the Tigers have never hesitated to move talented players quickly, and Miller will be no different. This probably isn't Miller's bon voyage to the minor leagues, but after showing just how far along he is, he may not have too much time left after all.
Moving from a big lefty to a big righty, news on Toledo starter Humberto Sanchez was good. Sanchez, who hasn't pitched in nearly a month, received a second opinion last week on his tender elbow that has kept him off the mound. The second opinion confirmed the Tigers' original diagnosis; the tender elbow is inflammation, and nothing more serious.
Sanchez will be returning to a rehab program this week, where he'll hope to get back on the mound soon – for now, he'll be doing long toss and throwing off flat ground. Toledo has just a week left before their season ends (unless they make the playoffs), so there's no telling whether or not Sanchez will make it back to pitching competitively this season, but the confirmation that Sanchez's problems are nothing more than minor annoyance is a great sign for the pitcher.
Finally, an injury update on a pitcher that had an incredible start but has gone quiet after experiencing some arm problems. Ramon Garcia was right up there with Jair Jurrjens and Sanchez as far as first half performance, but has been out for the past couple months because of injury.
Garcia just had shoulder surgery and will begin the rehab process in a few weeks down in Lakeland. It's an unfortunate end to the season for Garcia, but with how pitchers go now-a-days, anything that isn't career-threatening is really just viewed as a bump in the road.