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Why the @#$% is Zach Miner Starting?

It's a lost season and I'm all in for the tank, but @#$%, Zach Miner. Seriously? @#$%

What the @#$% do you mean, what the @#$% am I starting for?
What the @#$% do you mean, what the @#$% am I starting for?
Brian Garfinkel

Look I'm not a troglodyte, I understand this is basically a bullpen game at the end of a lost season and a win or loss isn't make or break here. I also realize it's a tough time of year in some ways to miss a Starter. Minor League seasons have wrapped so you can't call up a prospect. Prospects have now been resting for 2 weeks and aren't stretched out, so that's pretty much off the table. What you do have is a veritable ton of September call up scrub bullpen arms that you can run out there with no worries about inning limits, future projection or injuries (obviously you don't want those, but most of these guys who were September bullpen callups aren't in your long term plans anyway).

Here's the thing though, in a lost season, only one thing matters: Hope for the future. Fans want to be able to look to 2014 and say "This sucks, but at least we have Pat Combs/Jeff Stone/whomever to look forward to next year." No one is going to say that about Zach Miner. I know, no one's going to say that about Luis Garcia, Cesar Jimenez or Joe Savery either, but maybe with a good few innings from Ethan Martin, Tyler Cloyd, Mauricio Robles, Justin DeFratus or JC Ramirez fans can get some hope for a younger player. Is there much hope to be had that any of those guys is an Ace Starter? No, not really. Heck, half those guys may never even make an active roster again, but that's not really the point. We all watch baseball to escape for a while, to imagine perhaps that we can grow up to be Cole Hamels or Chase Utley. To be awed by a transcendent defensive play or to be thrilled by a 2 out single with the bases loaded and the game tied in extra innings. No one tunes in to the Phillies to watch a journeyman AAA pitcher earn his pension.

Look, I'm sure Zach Miner is a tremendously nice guy, and for him, it's undoubtedly exciting to be in the Majors and "starting" a game in front of, literally, tens of people in Miami. I'm just not excited by it, stick him somewhere in the middle relief innings. Of course, this is essentially two consecutive bullpen games. I'm glad we have plenty of fungible bullpen arms to burn through, but dammit, I'm not excited about it.