Make of this what you will, but Jeremy Bonderman’s elbow is sore.
“I’m fine,” Bonderman said with some conviction, after he was told that some teammates suspected he is not. “Yes, I’m fine.”
“He said his elbow was bothering him a little,” catcher Pudge Rodriguez said. “He’s a tough guy. He doesn’t want to come out. He knows the situation we’re in. Everybody wants to do their job.”
On the pitching front, Leyland admitted that Jeremy Bonderman’s elbow has been tender, but he said it won’t keep him from making his next start.
A sore elbow would certainly explain some of the recent control issues, and if it just developed last night it would explain the flurry of 2-0 and 3-0 counts as he struggled to command his pitches. If he’s not fine I don’t want him pitching. First I don’t think he can be effective if he can’t find the strike zone nor if he can’t throw with his normal velocity. Plus if he favors it he runs the risk of other injury due to altered mechanics. A sore elbow turning into a sore shoulder is the last thing the Tigers need.
If he’s fine then let him pitch, but a macho “we’re in a pennant race and the team needs him, rub some dirt on it” approach would be foolhardy. I don’t know all the details, and the Tigers have exercised considerable caution with their pitchers so I trust that if he’s pitching in his next start the team is confident that it won’t do further harm. But I don’t like the sound of it regardless.