If you looked at what transpired over the last two days, you’d have a hard time guessing correctly which Tiger starter missed a start due to arm issues. Mike Maroth, who missed his scheduled start on Thursday with recurring elbow tenderness had everything working. Meanwhile, Jeremy Bonderman struggled with command and velocity while getting shelled yesterday.
First for Maroth’s outing. If Maroth threw in the 90’s, the effort would have been termed dominating. Mike however throws in the mid 80’s, and is left handed which makes him crafty. He worked down in the zone, mixed his pitches effectively, and was painting the outside corner regularly. There were only a couple well hit balls all day and Maroth even managed to contain Travis Hafner. The real test however will come in the next couple days to see how Maroth’s elbow responds to the start.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Bonderman was rocked on Saturday. I would normally not be too concerned, except for the nature of the start. Listening to the radio broadcast Jim and Dan commented that Bonderman seemed to be topping out in the 90-92 range, that he was laboring, and he was struggling with command of his slider. The first two items are things that I observed later in the game on the Opening Day. I don’t really know if this was a bad day, if he’s battling a cold or the flu, or if he’s having elbow or shoulder problems. I know that last year Nate Robertson seemed to have similar issues for his first several starts and it was attributed to a sinus infection (I think it was a sinus infection, it may have been the flu) that sapped him of his strength. Hopefully it is something similarly non-serious.