Bonderman headed for bullpen
The Tigers are looking at a late-season piece to bolster their bullpen. Turns out it’s Jeremy Bonderman.
It wasn’t long ago that Bonderman’s shoulder problems created serious doubts whether he could pitch again this season in the Tigers rotation. But the last few weeks, his progress has come quickly. He threw another mound session Thursday, his third, and he has another one scheduled for Saturday. No word yet on what the next step would be, but a rehab stint certainly doesn’t seem far off.
“There’s a possibility,” president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said. “And I think the possibility is more out of the bullpen than starting.”
It isn’t a permanent move, but it would be for the rest of the season. The idea, Bonderman said, would be to limit him to around 35 pitches. When Bonderman was out on his rehab assignment in May, it was when he began extending his pitch limits during his starts that his shoulder started feeling sore again.
Bonderman’s fine with that. He said he’s willing to do whatever to help the team. It’s also clear that he badly wants to pitch again as soon as possible.
The Tigers are also sounding an upbeat tone on Joel Zumaya, who is seeing how his arm responds after cortisone shots Monday in his ailing shoulder.
“If you asked today, they think he’ll be able to pitch relatively soon,” Dombrowski said.
Add those two situations together, and it looks like the Tigers will have bullpen help without turning to the trade market. Dombrowski didn’t erase the possibility of adding a reliever, but he also didn’t make it sound like a pressing need.