Miller To Take Big League Turn Friday

Tiger lefthander Andrew Miller will make his first major league start Friday against the Cardinals. He takes the turn of righthander Jeremy Bonderman, who was placed on the disabled list with blister problems on the middle finger of his right hand.

The 21-year-old Miller, the sixth overall pick from North Carolina last year, was promoted to Double-A Erie just last week and had pitched eight shutout innings in his only start there Saturday. He appeared in eight big league games for the Tigers in 2006, all in relief.

“He’s ready–otherwise he wouldn’t be here,” Tigers assistant general manager Al Avila said. “All the stuff is there. As far as we’re concerned, all systems are go with him.”

The Tigers passed over Miller to call up Virgil Vasquez to take Bonderman’s turn on Sunday. While Vasquez had been the International League’s leader in strikeouts at the time of his promotion, he failed to get out of the third inning for Detroit.

Matching Miller up against the Cardinals, at home, makes sense from a tactical standpoint, considering St. Louis has scored the second-fewest runs in the majors this season. Only the Nationals have been worse.