Miner begins to play catch

Tigers' Miner begins to play catch

KANSAS CITY -- The Tigers are finally starting to get some encouraging news about injured reliever Zach Miner, who began playing catch this week as he tries to get past a particularly tenacious bout with tendinitis in his right elbow.

Detroit put Miner on the disabled list with a week and a half to go in Spring Training with some hope of having him eligible to come off the DL for the season's first weekend, but that quickly became unrealistic as the pain in his elbow lingered.

Miner was not going to be cleared to throw again until he was pain-free, which happened recently. He played catch from 60 feet away Monday and was scheduled to throw again Thursday. He missed enough time since he last pitched in a game that he'll be progressed slowly on his way back to game action.

Without Miner, the Tigers are missing one of their more versatile relievers in their bullpen, someone upon whom manager Jim Leyland called on to pitch anywhere from long relief to the eighth inning over the past couple years.