Eight scoreless innings for Bonderman

Jeremy Bonderman had encouraging numbers as well as stuff this time out. His third rehab start for Triple-A Toledo Sunday night saw the right-hander throw eight scoreless innings on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts against Charlotte, the White Sox Triple-A affliate.

Marcus Thames added his first home run of his rehab assignment, launching a shot deep to left. He’s 5-for-28 in his Toledo stint with four RBIs.

Bonderman needed just 98 pitches to get through his outing, 66 of them strikes. The real impressiveness, though, was in what he threw. He spotted pitches on the corners and, surprisingly, threw some of the best changeups he has had.

“I just didn’t get frustrated,” Bonderman said. “I knew what I had. I just moved the ball around today, up and down, fastballs up, breaking balls. I threw a lot of changeups, good changeups today.

“That’s probably one thing that I’m getting out of this is my changeup’s actually getting a lot better. You have to use what you’ve got.”

Now, to be fair, Charlotte is in the bottom tier of the International League in runs scored and home runs. Nonetheless, it wasn’t until Bonderman’s last couple innings that the Knights drove the ball with any authority. Not only did Bonderman not walk anyone, he only had two three-ball counts.

Bonderman’s fastball ranged from 88 to 90 mph, maybe a tick higher than his last time out but still slower than his previously healthy form. In terms of the art of pitching, though, he looked like a Major League pitcher. Whether he’s going to be in the Majors the next time he takes the mound remains to be seen. Tigers assistant general manager Al Avila was in town watching the game.

Bonderman says he has “no idea” what the next step is. He’s heading up to Detroit regardless to work with pitching coach Rick Knapp and then go from there.

“I feel a lot better today,” Bonderman said. “It’s up to them if they feel like I’m ready or not. My job is to go out here and pitch, get some innings and get my pitch count up, which is what I’ve been doing. That’s what I’ve been doing. Whenever they feel I’m ready, I’ll go up.”

9 Comments

The way I figure it, we’ll need an extra starter at some point beginning Friday night or after. I think Bondo will respond to Rick Knapp the way the rest of the staff has, and I’m looking to see him up here very very soon. I hate to be the bad guy here, but I honestly don’t think Willis is going to work out. I think he’s progressed to the point of being a mediocre major league starter, and I think there may be other teams who could use him. And again, it pains me to say that. Zach Miner should be in the rotation over Willis if you want to win games.
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I guess I like my pitchers to carry a calm, cool and cold-eyed old west gunslinger personna out there. Maybe I’m old school. :-)
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Greg, if you meant you were by the Tigers dugout at 6:20, we weren’t there yet. I had to get my fix of Maryland crabcakes first, over at the Inner Harbor. Next year, buddy.
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–Rich

Rich! Yeah it was 6:20. I had my cakes at 2:30 Sat. afternoon. Fingers are crossed for Bonderman.
Greg

Rich! Yeah it was 6:20. I had my cakes at 2:30 Sat. afternoon. Fingers are crossed for Bonderman.
Greg

Rich et al:

Maryland crab cakes and a bucket of beer. Man, don’t get much better.

As for Dontrelle, I’d go another start or two. Got hammered but Scott did most of the damage (as he did on everyone). Don’t know how well Dontrelle was spotting his pitches but I’d give it another couple to get a complete look.

Bondo is sounding a little frustrated though. I think we throw him in the mix and see what happens.

As it happens right now, I think we 80-90% chances to win every single JV and EJ start and a 60% chance with Rick on the mound. After that? Katie bar the door. Better hope the hitters come out and we get a few breaks. Gonna be an exciting JUne though. No June swoon.

The way I have it figured, Willis does get at least one more start. But after we get through this stretch of piled up games and the rotation is back in order, a decision will have to be made, barring an unforeseen injury.
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There are a lot of comments about Dane Sardinha. Dan, you have some, but I’m seeing a lot of them elsewhere too. I guess I’m going to have to side with Pineapple. He’s an excellent catcher and, at this point in time, I put more emphasis on defense in our backup. At the plate, he does have trouble reading breaking balls, and I’d hope they’d be working on his bunting skills. If he has time, that is, as I think he’s kept pretty busy with his job as backup catcher. Saturday night with the bases loaded, he nearly hit two doubles in one AB, both of them inches foul. That would have broken that game wide open. It’s unfortunate that Treanor was injured, but I think we’ve got the best in the organization right now.
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This team has been a lot of fun so far. The games are interesting and the club is made up of some pretty good people. And after two full months of play, has the 3rd best record in the AL. I didn’t comment on yesterday’s game much, but it was a thing of beauty. Just enough timely hits to get it done with shut down pitching. The Orioles were stopped in their tracks the past two days.
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–Rich

Rich:

Listening to it on the radio I cringed when Dane came to the plate but could tell form the announcers that both strokes were just foul. They indicated that the last breaking ball was nasty so I guess he gets credit for that. But a major league hitter in that circumstance just has to put the ball in play. Oh well. Maybe Freehan is still around or possibly Parrish.

So, we move on with Boston and a nationally televised game on Wednesday. Should be interesting. I assume Rick is on the hill on Tuesday and then Dontrelle for the ESPN game on Wednesday?

All the griping about Pineapple not being able to hit. It’s a shame, really. He’s a good catcher, alot better than Treanor or Ryan, imo. He has a calm, cool personality that seems to work well with the pitchers. I hope we can keep him.

I don’t know if it was just me, but I really like the way Dontrelle has thrown thus far… Luke Scott had a spell of Ted Williams vision and crushed the ball for the entire series. The ten hits were alarming though.

One more start for Bonderman should do. Knapp’s instruction should be tested at least once more.

I can’t jump on the “send away Willis” wagon just yet – that second start made me smile for hours.

This column is doing the same…

Zach Miner is a quality pitcher, but he has to work on getting his pitches down in the zone – but not in the dirt – if hes going to rejoin the rotation

(By the Way – hello all, Im Nate from Dekalb/Chicago IL)

Dane needs to a least put the ball in play – as was said – 12 strikeouts in 24 ABs? Ouch. The pitchers do seem to respond well to him though.

McClendon needs to have a pow-wow with Polanco and Sardinha and hope they can discuss basic contact hatting with each other – Polanco has been one of the best in the game at that in recent years and could really help.

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