DETROIT -- Tigers reliever Zach Miner is scheduled to pick up his rehab from right elbow tendinitis by throwing to hitters Thursday in an extended spring training game in Lakeland, Fla.
If that goes well, the Tigers will build up his arm until he's ready to go out on a rehab assignment -- possibly soon, according to manager Jim Leyland.
Miner, who began the season on the disabled list, has progressed well over the past couple of weeks once a combination of rest and medication finally cleared up the discomfort. He has had several mound sessions, but has yet to throw to live hitters. Thursday's outing is designed to get him a feel for that and see how his elbow responds to the extra adrenaline.
The Tigers' bullpen has been heavily taxed this season, putting a premium on a versatile reliever like Miner who can work both short and long outings. Without him, Detroit has used a combination of relievers to fill the void, including knuckleball pitcher Eddie Bonine and lefties Brad Thomas, Fu-Te Ni and Phil Coke.