Bonderman, Robertson to rehab for Toledo Tuesday
Tigers pitchers Jeremy Bonderman and Nate Robertson will begin their Minor League rehab assignments at Triple-A Toledo Tuesday night.
Robertson is scheduled to throw two or three innings, or about 40 pitches. Bonderman will follow with one inning, or about 25 pitches. With that, they’ll begin what is expected to be a lengthy rehab process to build up their arms before they rejoin the Tigers for late-season call-ups in the bullpen.
Robertson said Friday, after both of them threw in a simulated game, that the goal was to be ready at the end of August, right around the time active rosters expand from 25 players to up to 40. But given manager Jim Leyland’s reaction, that shouldn’t be taken to mean that they’ll be shuffled off to the back of the bullpen for token work.
“I think there’s a strong possibility,” Leyland said, “that both of them, in some way shape or form, at some point, for the rest of the season could be very important for us. But they have to get back to pitching shape. I want them to be pumped up. I think they’re both pumped up right now. I think that’s a wonderful thing. But you still have to go out and do it and get back into a routine.”
That will be the focus for them. While they’ll be groomed for relief roles when they get to Detroit, the Tigers still want to stretch them out and make sure their arms are strong enough to handle the workload. That proved to be a problem with Bonderman when he tried to come back earlier this year, culminating in a rough outing against the White Sox in early June.
So far, that has been Bonderman’s lone outing as a Tiger this year. He missed the start of the season with lingering shoulder problems after last summer’s surgery to correct a circulatory problem.
Robertson opened the season in the bullpen, but eventually complained of elbow trouble in June. He had surgery about five weeks ago to remove four tissue masses from the elbow area, where they were believed to be interfering with a nerve and restricting his throwing motion.