By Joe Christensen
It’s draft day, and while so much of this is over our heads (no matter how hard La Velle tries), it’s notable that the Tigers are calling up last year’s first-round pick, 6-7 LHP Andrew Miller, at a critical juncture, to replace Nate Robertson in their rotation.
Miller, the former UNC Tar Heel, was predicted to go No. 1 in last year’s draft but fell to No. 6. The Tigers also stole a gem in 2005, when OF Cameron Maybin slipped to No. 10. Jim Leyland raved about Miller and Maybin all spring. And don’t be fooled just because Maybin has been stationed in the Class A Florida State League this year. That’s where Miller started the season and the Tigers just called him up from Class AA.
With the Twins back at .500, I looked around the AL Central this morning to get a sense of what’s ahead in interleague play, aka The Seasonal Fattening of AL Records.
Cleveland (35-22): The Indians send Fausto Carmona to the mound today against Kansas City. Then, they’ll continue with this relatively easy stretch, thanks to interleague play: @ Reds (3), Mariners (1, home makeup), @ Marlins (3), Braves (3), Phillies (3) and @ Nationals (3).
Detroit (33-25, 2.5 GB): The struggling Mike Maroth pitches at Texas tonight. Were it not for Robertson’s injury, Maroth might have been dropped from the rotation to make room for Miller. But Kenny Rogers has been pitching off a mound and figures to return from the DL soon. The Tigers’ interleague schedule is tough: Mets (3), Brewers (3), @ Phillies (3), @ Nationals (3), @ Braves (3).
Twins (29-29, 6.5 GB): Joe Mauer returns from the DL tomorrow. The Twins were 14-15 without him. The interleague sked is not easy: Nationals (3, perhaps the only break), Braves (3), Brewers (3 again, this time at the Dome), @ Mets (3), @ Marlins (3).
White Sox (26-29, 8 GB): 3B Joe Crede could miss the rest of the year because of back surgery, and Josh Fields will take his place. Chicago is 2-8 in its past 10 games. The White Sox have one more with the Yankees tonight, followed by a nice, soft interleague stretch: Astros (3), @ Phillies (3), @ Pirates (3), Marlins (3), Cubs (3).