Thrown into fire: Tigers to call up No. 1 pick Miller
General manager Dave Dombrowski said lefty Andrew Miller, Detroit's No. 1 draft pick in June, will be called up Tuesday from Class A Lakeland before the Tigers open a three-game series at Yankee Stadium in New York.
Veteran outfielder Alexis Gomez will have his contract purchased from Toledo after the Tigers clear space on their 40-man roster.
The Tigers have the best record in the majors and lead Minnesota by five games in the AL Central.
Manager Jim Leyland said left-handed starter Mike Maroth, who had surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow on June 2, won't be activated until the rosters are expanded Sept. 1.
"We'll put him in the bullpen," Leyland said. "I'm not planning on Mike Maroth being in the rotation the rest of the year."
"We'll play with that spot for a while," Leyland said.
The 21-year-old pitched five scoreless innings over three games at Lakeland, striking out nine and allowing only two hits and one walk. He was picked sixth overall after going 13-2 with a 2.48 ERA and 133 strikeouts in 123 1-3 innings at North Carolina this past spring.
"He'll be used in the bullpen," Dombrowski said of Miller. "Our minor-league people say Miller has thrown the ball in outstanding fashion and can help us right now."
Miller had a clause written into his contract that he would be called up to the majors this year, but Leyland said that wasn't the driving factor in the decision.
"Miller's the guy I wanted," Leyland said. "It has nothing to do with coming up in September. He's not coming up here on a pass. I'm going to use him, I promise."
Gomez hit .265 with one homer and six RBI in 48 games earlier this season with Detroit. The 28-year-old has batted .292 with 11 homers and 36 RBI in 55 games at Toledo.
Clevlen, 22, batted .379 (11-for-29) with three homers and six RBI in 17 games. He doubled in his first career at-bat off Minnesota's Johan Santana on July 30.
Lewis, 27, was 0-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two games after being recalled Aug. 21.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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