Results tagged ‘ Jeremy Bonderman ’

Perry's return could mean DL for Bonderman

Ryan Perry’s trip to the Minor Leagues was apparently a short one. So, too, might be Jeremy Bonderman’s return to the Tigers.

Though Perry was scheduled to join the Mud Hens on Thursday for the start of their homestand, he had no sooner arrived before he was emptying his locker again and heading out, according to the Toledo Blade. He appears poised to rejoin the Tigers this weekend in Pittsburgh for their three-game series against the Pirates.

By rule, players who are optioned to the Minor Leagues can’t return to the Majors within 10 days unless they’re replacing a player who goes on the disabled list.

That’s where Bonderman could come into play. He hasn’t pitched since giving up six runs over four-plus innings in the second game of Monday’s day-night doubleheader against the White Sox, an outing that by manager Jim Leyland’s account was “not too good.”

Bonderman was in the bullpen for the remainder of the series, but wasn’t used. Every other pitcher in the Tigers bullpen entered one of Detroit’s final three games in the series. However, Bonderman said after Thursday’s series finale at U.S. Cellular Field that he was available to pitch and was fine.

Bonderman’s outing Monday was his first Major League appearance in more than a year. He missed most of last season with surgery to correct a blood vessel restriction in his shoulder, then spent this spring building up strength in his arm. He still isn’t at full velocity and might not be until next year. The question the Tigers have faced is whether he’s strong enough yet to pitch effectively.

Manager Jim Leyland said Wednesday that Bonderman would work out of the bullpen for now. Asked if Bonderman could be a reliever longer term, much like Nate Robertson has been for Detroit so far this season, Leyland didn’t think that would happen.

“I do not think that,” Leyland said Wednesday.

Willis starting Sunday, Bonderman to pen

The Tigers rotation situation has been solved. Dontrelle Willis will make his next start Sunday at Pittsburgh, while Jeremy Bonderman is headed for the bullpen for now.

The move brings Detroit’s starting ranks from six pitchers to five after Monday’s day-night doubleheader. What it means for Bonderman’s return from shoulder problems remains to be seen.

Willis is winless in his last four starts with an 8.53 ERA and 16 walks over 19 innings since holding the Rangers scoreless over 6 1/3 innings May 19 at Comerica Park. However, Willis has competed on the mound to make his stuff work, a facet possibly never more evident than his outing Tuesday against the White Sox.

Despite five walks and five hits over as many innings, Willis held Chicago to three runs, leaving with a tie score before Detroit eventually pulled it out. He seemingly injured his right knee sliding into home plate for a tag attempt, then made his final out with a diving stop on the first-base side of the mound and a throw to first from the ground.

Once Willis’ knee was fine Wednesday, manager Jim Leyland’s decision was made.

“I think Dontrelle certainly deserves to go out there Sunday,” Leyland said. “I really like the way he competed.”

Willis’ outing came a day after Bonderman made his first Major League start in a year, taking a loss against the White Sox with six runs on eight hits over four-plus innings. Three of those hits were home runs.

It has been a slow process for Bonderman to regain his velocity after surgery last summer to correct a blood vessel restriction in his shoulder, and his fastball topped out at 91 mph Monday. He spent his Minor League rehab assignment trying to learn how to focus more on changing speeds and locating rather than being a power pitcher like in the past. That process will continue from somewhere other than Detroit’s rotation.

Bonderman was in the bullpen Tuesday night with a shortened Tigers relief staff, but Leyland said nothing about Bonderman’s role going past this series.

Thames likely returning this weekend

Marcus Thames is continuing his rehab stint at Triple-A Toledo, but there now seems to be an end game to the process.

“By the end of the week, we’re hoping Marcus is swinging good,” manager Jim Leyland said, “because we’re going to see four left-handers.”

The stretch starts with the Angels’ Joe Saunders, who starts Sunday, then continues into next week’s series against the White Sox. Clayton Richard, who has been pitching really well since joining Chicago’s rotation, is on track to pitch one of the games Monday. Mark Buehrle and John Danks are also on turn to pitch in that series.

“Marcus, I would expect to be rejoining us soon,” Leyland said.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Bonderman’s Minor League rehab stint is officially over, according to the notes from Triple-A Toledo. He’s scheduled to throw on the side again one more time — he threw Tuesday — and then the Tigers will re-evaluate him. Leyland said he knows who will start the second game of Monday’s doubleheader, but isn’t ready to announce it. Armando Galarraga, you might remember, will start the first game.


  1. Thomas, LF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Granderson, CF
  6. Larish, DH
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Laird, C
  9. Everett, SS

P: Armando Galarraga


  1. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  2. J.D. Drew, RF
  3. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
  4. Jason Bay, LF
  5. Mike Lowell, 3B
  6. David Ortiz, DH
  7. Jason Varitek, C
  8. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  9. Nick Green, SS

P: Josh Beckett

No word yet on Bonderman

Jeremy Bonderman threw a side session today and came out feeling fine, but there’s no news yet on what will be his next step. Manager Jim Leyland said this afternoon that pitching coach Rick Knapp was working on a plan.

“We’re going to look at it and evaluate it and see where we stand,” Leyland said.

One factor that could come into play is the day-night doubleheader at the White Sox scheduled for next Monday. Leyland said Armando Galarraga will pitch the first game on his regular turn, but hadn’t determined anything yet for the nightcap.

There is one move on the injury front: Dan Dickerson is back in the radio booth for tonight’s game. He’s on crutches and having a hard time getting around, but he’s in good spirits.


  1. Thomas, RF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Ordonez, DH
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Granderson, CF
  6. Inge, 3B
  7. Anderson, LF
  8. Laird, C
  9. Santiago, SS

P: Rick Porcello


  1. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  2. J.D. Drew, RF
  3. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
  4. Jason Bay, LF
  5. Mike Lowell, 3B
  6. David Ortiz, DH
  7. Jason Varitek, C
  8. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  9. Nick Green, SS

P: Daisuke Matsuzaka

More on Bonderman

I didn’t get a chance to get into it more than in passing in the article, but it’s obvious that making room for Bonderman poses a difficult decision. Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson and Rick Porcello combined for 14 wins in May. They’re obviously not going anywhere. Dontrelle Willis had been pitching well until his last start last Friday at Baltimore, where he gave up seven runs on 10 hits in five innings. He won’t be heading back to the minor leagues. Armando Galarraga struggled for much of May, then had better stuff last Thursday against the O’s, but still lost with three runs on 10 hits in seven innings. After double-checking, he supposedly still has an option left.

If somebody gets pushed out into the bullpen, or if Bonderman goes into the bullpen (more on that shortly), there’s still a move to be made. And among the current Tigers relievers, there’s a similar crunch. Fernando Rodney, Joel Zumaya and Bobby Seay aren’t going anywhere. Nor likely is Nate Robertson, who pitched well in May as Detroit’s second left-hander and has service time. Zach Miner has pitched better in shorter bursts and is out of options. Ryan Perry can be optioned back to the minors, but has pitched effectively in situations.

I mentioned the possibility of Bonderman to the bullpen in the article, but Bonderman brought up the possibility first.

“Maybe I won’t be going back in the rotation. You never know,” he said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s the thing. Nobody can sit there and say, ‘You’re going back in the rotation.’ Nobody knows. The way it’s going, heck, I wouldn’t blame them for not putting me back in the rotation. I’m willing to do whatever to help the team. Wherever they put me, I’ll pitch, and I’ll go about my business and worry about it one day at a time.”

To Bonderman’s credit, he isn’t going to make any demands. That still isn’t going to make the Tigers’ decision very easy. One thing to keep in mind is the Tigers’ doubleheader at the White Sox next Monday. With no off-day from this Monday (June 1) until two Mondays from now (June 15), they’ll almost surely need a sixth starter for one turn through the rotation.

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.”

Bonderman update: 6 IP, 3 R, 2 ER for Toledo

Tigers right-hander Jeremy Bonderman gave up three runs, two earned (corrected totals), over six innings Tuesday night in his second rehab start for Triple-A Toledo.

Bonderman, who began the season on the disabled list with shoulder soreness stemming from last summer’s surgery to correct a blood vessel restriction, had runners on base in every inning thanks to seven hits and three walks against Norfolk. He escaped further damage by stranding seven runners on base, including at least one in all but one of his innings.

The only inning in which he didn’t strand a runner was his last. Brandon Pinckney took him deep to left in the sixth for a solo homer, Pinckney’s first home run on the season. The only other extra-base hit off Bonderman was a Justin Turner double.

Bonderman’s unearned run came about in the second inning thanks to a Robby Hammock drive to deep center fielder that Jason Tyner dropped for a three-base error, setting up a Melvin Dorta RBI single.

Bonderman threw 60 of his 97 pitches for strikes. He struck out four batters.

Bonderman is currently a week and a half into his rehab assignment, which began May 16 at Class A West Michigan. He can continue pitching in the Minors for a 30-day stint, which would take him to June 15 before the Tigers would have to make a decision on whether to call him up to Detroit.

So far, the club hasn’t announced any plans for what’s next with the 26-year-old right-hander, but he’ll most likely remain in Toledo and make another rehab start Sunday. Speculation had centered on Bonderman possibly cracking the Tigers rotation soon, that mainly came from Bonderman’s initial statements that he might only need one or two starts before he’s ready to return.

“You guys have as much of an idea as I do,” Bonderman told reporters in Toledo after the game.

Bonderman leveled out at 88 mph on his fastball with a top velocity of 90. That still isn’t back to his old speeds, but it might be forcing him to work with what he has for now.

“The first two innings, I was a little frustrated with the way I was throwing,” Bonderman told reporters. “After the second, I settled down and just tried to use what I have better. My velocity be there when it’s there. I can’t control that. I’m just going to go out, try to pitch and be successful.”

Bonderman to make another rehab start

Jeremy Bonderman will make another rehab start for Triple-A Toledo, this time at home Tuesday night. As mentioned last night, he took a shutout into the sixth inning Thursday at Gwinnett before giving up a five-spot in the sixth.

Manager Jim Leyland cited the reports that had Bonderman’s fastball ranging from 89-92 mph, another step up for him.

“The report was that he kind of ran out of gas,” Leyland said. “He didn’t necessarily feel that way, but he maybe kind of hit a wall. But up to that point, he was pretty good. He threw some pitches at 92, so I think it was a very positive outing for him.”

Bonderman apparently is still pain-free today after the outing.

“That’s a good sign,” Leyland said. “Hopefully his arm is being built back up to where he wants to get it and where we’d like to see it.”

Also feeling pain-free today, along those lines, is Edwin Jackson after his 132 pitches Thursday afternoon. He said just before going out for batting practice Friday that his arm felt as good as normal.

Jackson did not ice his arm after the outing. But as it turns out, he doesn’t ice his arm at all, hasn’t in a few years.

“I will if it hurts,” Jackson said, “but I probably haven’t iced in three or four years. I used to ice when I was younger because I thought we had to. Everybody would go and ice. But I asked the trainers one day, ‘If my arm doesn’t hurt, do I need to ice?’ They said, ‘Not really.’ So ever since then, I really haven’t iced unless I think I need to.”

On the bullpen side, Fernando Rodney is not available today after pitching all three games against Texas. Joel Zumaya would likely close if the situation arises.

Bonderman's rehab outing for Toledo

We’ll wait and see what the reports say, but the numbers showed a decent night for Jeremy Bonderman that turned into a rough ending in his rehab start for Triple-A Toledo Thursday at Gwinnett. He took a two-hit shutout and a duel with Braves uber-prospect Tommy Hanson into the sixth before Gwinnett put up a five-spot on Bonderman in the sixth with three doubles, a single, a walk and a home run.

The totals: Bonderman gave up five runs on seven hits, five of them for extra bases, over six innings with two walks and four strikeouts. He threw 62 of his 98 pitches for strikes. Again, we’ll wait and see, especially on his velocity, but one would think he might need some time.

Bonderman: I'm maybe one, two starts away

Jeremy Bonderman stopped in Detroit Friday ahead of his first rehab start Saturday night. The way he feels, he hopes it won’t be long before he’s back for good.

“I’m not too far away,” Bonderman said Friday. “I’m maybe one, two starts away.”

Bonderman said his shoulder is feeling fine after some deep, lingering soreness hampered his progress for the better part of a month. He’s starting for Class A West Michigan Saturday night because the Whitecaps are home and Triple-A Toledo will not be, but he should move up quickly from there.

“My arm feels great,” he said. “No pain, no nothing.”

His velocity, he said, was around 91 mph, and he’s been stretched out to 87 pitches in his last outing at extended spring training.

The Tigers aren’t saying any timetable for Bonderman. That part is understandable, because for all Bonderman’s progress, he’s still coming off major surgery for the blood clot in his shoulder that sidelined him from last June through the end of the season. Plus, whenever Bonderman’s ready, the Tigers have to figure out how to make room for him.