Good sign for Bonine

Sorry for no post yesterday. Needless to say, it was a crazy day.

Back to action today with news on reliever Eddie Bonine, who is now set to make the start for the Tigers in their Spring Training finale Thursday against the Blue Jays (Edwin Jackson is starting a Minor League game that day). Jim Leyland wants him pitching no more than two innings that day. While Leyland hasn’t said anything about whether he’s on or off the roster, this should be a good sign for his chances. He’s written down to pitch on the day the Tigers break camp, and he isn’t being stretched out for any return to starting duty in Toledo.

Leyland has been effusive in his praise for Bonine the last couple days, particularly as a reliever. The manager called him a “totally different pitcher” out of the bullpen compared to starting, in large part because he throws harder in shorter work. He has also made better use of the knuckler he threw at times last year. And a harder-throwing Bonine with a knuckler (actually two now, a harder version and a slower one) has a chance to be a pretty effective middle to long reliever, possibly in a big role if Zach Miner is summoned to the rotation.

Other news …

  • Nate Robertson is now set to pitch Tuesday against the Nationals after Rick Porcello’s outing is done. That puts two of the primary starting candidates pitching on the same day. “Hopefully it’ll take up most of the game,” Leyland said of their innings.
  • Still no word on when Zach Miner will pitch again. 
  • Leyland reiterated that his preference would be to have Armando Galarraga pitch the home opener April 10. “But I’m not sure if that’s going to work out,” Leyland said.

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