Bonderman not quite ready

According to Jim Leyland it is “highly unlikely” that Bonderman will be available to start the season. While Bonderman isn’t feeling pain at this point, his arm strength (or lack thereof) has his fastball sitting in the high 80’s instead of the low to mid 90’s.

They are clearly playing things by ear at this point, but it does bolster Miner’s and Porcello’s chances of making a start. If it is Miner that gets the nod, that also means a bullpen position may be temporarily open.

Hopefully this situation resolves itself fairly quickly. I view Jeremy Bonderman as one of the keys to the season. If he can’t get back to normal, thoughts of an 85 win season become harder to envision.

9 thoughts on “Bonderman not quite ready”

  1. I have a hard time believing Porcello will be ready to start a game and go very far into it in the next couple of weeks. He’s been on a 40 pitch count limit and has only thrown 8.2 innings in 4 games all spring. They seem to be holding him back on purpose, maybe to save his arm for a possible pennant run later in the summer?

    At this point I’d guess that either Willis gets one or two Hail Mary chances to resurrect his career (one on Easter Sunday, perhaps???), or Bonine gets a shot to become this year’s Galarraga. Eddie’s only thrown 14 innings in 9 games this spring, so a start by him probably wouldn’t last too long either. But I doubt they’re worried too much about wrecking his arm by pushing too hard, too fast – as they are with Porcello.

    Miner will get a ton of work this year, whether it be as a spot starter or long reliever.

    1. I don’t think Porcello is on a 40 pitch limit. In his last start he threw 36 pitches in the first inning and 17 in the second before being lifted with one out in the third. I’d guess his final totaly was around 60. His next start he could go 70-75 and then his first start in the bigs (if it happens) could go 85-90. So he’s not far away from being ready.

  2. Verlander Galarraga, Jackson, Robertson and Porcello should be considered as starters as of now.

    When Bondo comes back be that one week to a month into the season… they should relegate whoever isn’t pitching well to the pen. It is imperative that they win this year, and win early to make fans choose them over other options during the peak summer/fall months. If they lose this year, their demand will fall even farther than it already has and in my opinion they won’t have the resources that we’ve seen the last several years.

    Even if that means starting Porcello’s and Perry’s clock early they should do it. This is a do or die year for the franchise and Leyland. Also if Everett isn’t ready they should have the best defender (Worth) start. The runs will be there either way, you need the great D behind the pitching to make the pitchers feel confident in Inge, good defending SS and Polanco to pitch to contact.

    Hopefully between Zumaya, Bonderman, Jackson, Willis, Robertson, Porcello, Perry, Verlander, Galarraga, Seay, Rincon, Miner, Lyon and Rodney + a possible guy or two at the deadline, will get them into the playoffs. From there it’s essentially a crap shoot, but the playoffs should generate enough interest in the Tigers. Now you just hope Mauer is out for awhile, Chi Sox pitchers start to blow and Hafner and Martinez Carmona, Cuddyer and Liriano don’t have comeback years along with breakout years from Butler Choo and Kubel. And that the Royals still exp. growing pains.

  3. I’m with Rick G
    Give Bonine a chance against Texas at home. He has had a great spring thus far. He has only gave up a run or two and has an ERA under 1.00. I wish Bondo was ready for Toronto but let’s face it…
    A 100% healthy Bondo (and Zumaya for that matter) in May and beyond is more important than a 70% healthy by opening day.

    Either way let’s cross our fingers!

  4. I read that Porcello pitched 62 of his 65 pitch count limit in his last game. Unfortunately that was only 2.1 innings. I’m really torn on Porcello, i’d love to see him start, but if he needs 20+ pitches per inning he might not be quite ready. His stuff is good, but maybe needs a bit more time.

  5. I know this isn’t strictly on-topic…


    “It is imperative that they win this year, and win early to make fans choose them over other options during the peak summer/fall months. If they lose this year, their demand will fall even farther than it already has and in my opinion they won’t have the resources that we’ve seen the last several years.”

    I think that the media doesn’t seem to understand the ownership of this club. Illich isn’t going to pull the plug on the franchise if it doesn’t have fantastic start to the season. The guy is getting old, a BILLIONAIRE and want’s a winner in Detroit as much as anyone. Sure, a good start is vital to the team – but more in terms of moral and momentum. I would argue that there’s a better chance to see an increase in spending at the trade deadline if the Tigers are competitive, than there would of seeing a fire-sale if they don’t start well. As many people have mentioned, there aren’t that many cost-saving options that other teams would find attractive (eg. Sheffield, Willis). The options that are attractive are too important to the long-term viability of the club (eg. Cabrera, Granderson). As for fan interest/attendance, as always, that will ebb and flow with the team’s performance.

    To sum up: there will be no fire sale, this year is no more important to the long-term of this club than any other – but a quick start would probably do wonders for the team’s confidence.

  6. I never said there would be a fire sale. I don’t know where you got that from

    I said

    “they won’t have the resources that we’ve seen the last several years.”

    Momentum? Wait didn’t this team have the best record or close to it by the ASB in 2006 and 2007? I forget… what happened? Momentum doesn’t work over seasons it works in games and over short stretches (ie 10-20games). You’re right in that fan interest/attendance is tied to the success of the Tigers which is what I TRIED TO CONVEY in my prior post.

    I don’t know if you have noticed but 1) several major businesses in the area are doing piss poor and could go broke. 2) Their demand for season tickets was way down (tied to last years performance and teh wallet). 3) The Tigers were not at all aggressive in going after good FA pitchers, even after they set the record for attendance. Whether Illitch has money or not, the payroll for this club has hit its ceiling.

    And this year IS IS IS more important. Like I said this is Leyland’s last year if things go south. And they won’t have the $$$ they’ve had in previous years. Even taking Sheff off the books they’ve got several youngin’s due for a payday and with Dombro going over draft slot I don’t see them having much if any excess $$ if they suck. Plus if Chrysler, GM or Ford go under you can kiss even more good-bye. And I don’t really want to (READ WONT) discuss politics on this site, but it is relevant to the topic due to it being tied to the economy and the economy being tied to los Tigres… By trading away certain guys Dombrow better have the system restocked and fast and Porcello and Perry better “make good.” We won’t have the money to go get guys.

  7. I didn’t see Porcello’s pitch count for his last start – shouldn’t have assumed he only threw ~40 pitches, even given that he only lasted 2.1 innings. I guess if they gradually increase the count over his last couple spring training starts and manages to get 5-6 innings deep into a game, then you can justify giving him a start for the big club.

    Andre, I think there are different levels of fire sale that could occur. I agree that there’s no way that Cabrera/Granderson/Verlander get dealt (aka the “smoldering ashes, nothing is left” fire sale). They can’t trust their scouting enough to get value in return for those guys. But I could easily see Maggs, Guillen, Bonderman, and/or Polanco getting traded away if they’re floundering at the deadline. That’s a “structure is still there, but you can’t live in it” fire sale. I guess there’s also a “only burn the stuff you don’t want” fire sale, where you get rid of Sheff, Dontrelle, Nate, and Inge without eating their salaries – but that’ll never happen.

  8. David,

    I know you didn’t say anything about a firesale, I mentioned that because it seemed to be of the same variety as your doomsday talk.

    My broader point in all this had more to do with Illitch – it still stands that you have a situation where the owner is interested in winning more than, although perhaps not to the exclusion of, business.

    Settle down Dave.

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