Bonderman, Maggs, and Guillen updates

A big chunk of the Tigers payroll was making some noise today for a variety of reasons. Let’s recap it:

Jeremy Bonderman

Jeremy Bonderman made his first rehab start for the West Michigan Whitecaps tonight. He lasted 7 innings and 94 pitches and posted an encouraging line (4 K’s, 1 walk, 6 hits, 2 runs). Bonderman thought before the game that he’d only need 1 or 2 starts to get ready. I think the Tigers would prefer at least 2 to give them more time to figure out who is leaving the rotation to make room.

Whether 1 or 2 starts is reasonable though is up for some debate. He’s still building velocity and arm strength. If this report is accurate though, it may take a little longer if his velocity was truly in the low to mid 80′s.

Magglio Ordonez

Magglio Ordonez just started to hit the ball with some authority and now it appears that he’ll miss a couple games this week. He will be away from the team Tuesday and Wednesday and the Thursday afternoon game appears up in the air as well. This is being called a personal matter and it is probably safe to assume this is related to Jim Leyland’s recent comments about Magglio having some things on this mind.

Carlos Guillen

It sounds like there is some progress in Carlos Guillen’s recuperation from a shoulder injury. He started hitting off a tee and was in the dugout carrying a bat around Saturday night.

14 Comments

  1. Jeff Molby

    May 17, 2009 at 1:16 am

    No reason to rush Bondo unless Galaraga is on a really short leash. Willis deserves a couple more outings before any decisions are made and the others are all performing at least as well as a rushed Bondo.

  2. Ryan P.

    May 17, 2009 at 1:17 am

    It’s going to be interesting to see who the odd man out in the rotation is. It would be hard to send Porcello down with how well he is pitching right now. I guess a lot hinges on Armando’s and Willis’ next few starts.

  3. David

    May 17, 2009 at 3:03 am

    My mother and brother saw Guillen today before the game in Somerset Mall and did a double take while he was exiting the elevator and they were entering. I believe my brother said he was with his kids and dressed nice.

    I found it to be somewhat entertaining, even though I wasn’t there.

    This means that Bondo’s first start will probably come in KC, assuming he only needs 1more start (which could be a faulty assumption). I mean I’d give him at least 2 more, if not 3. At least one at Erie and Toledo. Right now at least , there is no need in rushing him.

    If he came back June first (2 weeks) it would be fine by me.

    That way Dtrain has 4 starts, by then we should know what he has got. What would be terrible is to bring him back and stick him in the rotation prematurely and for him to be ineffective and out of sync.

    And as Ryan said – who are you going to remove? As of now Verlander/Edwin/Rick are pretty solidified.

    Armando and Willis would be the two most likely candidates. But, you might be able to scratch Willis off that short list if they both perform similar considering how much cash this organization has invested in him.

  4. Bullettooth

    May 17, 2009 at 3:16 am

    I was at the ‘Caps game tonight. Bondo looked good pounding the strike zone – can;t rememember him really falling behind any of the Loons hitters at all – but he didn’t hit 89 or 90 all night. He really messed a few guys up on the sinker but the fastball looks a couple starts away.

  5. Mr. X

    May 17, 2009 at 6:45 am

    Geez, Galarraga hasn’t pitched all that bad. In his last 3 starts he’s only given up 20 hits in 16 innings. This is the worst 3 game stretch he’s ever had for us also. When starting pitchers really struggle, they usually give up more than 10 hits or throw fewer than 5 innings. Since 2008, Galarraga has only given up more than 8 hits once in a single game and he’s only been yanked before the 5th inning 2 times.

    Also in these last 3 games for Galarraga, the Tigers didn’t give him any run support. They only scored 1 run in those 16 innings that Armando pitched. So it didn’t really even matter how he pitched because we probably weren’t going to win anyway.

    Since 2008, in 35 starts, Galarraga has given up 3 runs or fewer 25 times and 2 runs or fewer 19 times.

  6. Mr. X

    May 17, 2009 at 7:45 am

    IMO, Bonderman and Willis don’t deserve spots in the rotation yet. Either of them have done anything in the past few years to earn a rotation spot. I’d let them both share the 5th spot and have them both work out of the pen for a few months. See if one of them is better suited for a relief role. I always thought Bondo would thrive as closer. Maybe it’s time to give him a look in that role. Having too many starting pitchers is a nice problem to have anyway. It should make everyone in the staff take their roles more seriously. Nothing like good ole in house competition.

    • Mike Thompson

      May 17, 2009 at 10:51 am

      I completely agree! The Tigers have a good 4 man rotation with Jackson, Gallarga, Verlander and the great 20 year old kid! Thing is they’re losing games after these guys are taken out due to pitch count. I’m tired of listening to that theory. ALL of the great pitchers of the past pitched a lot of innings and RARELY had arm problems. Now it seems they throw 100 pitches and are yanked only to see their efforts go to waste. Verlander’s last game was annoying. He gets 2 guys on and doesn’t get a chance to do anything other than watch the game lost due to a bad Manager decision to bring in a reliever that’s the opposite. Left handeda, finess pitcher that the Twins ate up. Verlander could have got out of the situation if given a chance, but the only thing he could do was watch.

      How can we ever have another 30 game winner when these guys only start 30 games? The whole concept of letting pitchers pitch, players play and batters bat has been lost with pitch counts that seem to cause more injuries due to over rest, poor fielding due to too many days off and lowewr batting averages for the same reason.
      If a pitcher is doing well let him pitch until he’s not or he tells the Manager he’s done. If he’s getting his butt kicked bring in a relief pitcher that has a different approach/direction.
      Think about it – if you know you’re only going 6 innings you start getting adrenalin let down going into your last inning. The old school allowed the pitchers adrenalin needs for an entire game, or until they ran out of “gas” – energy or adrenalin.
      They’re hurting these guys more than helping both physically and mentally when they never get a chance to win. How can a guy be tired when he’s still throwing 99 mph?

      • Andre in Chi

        May 17, 2009 at 12:55 pm

        “ALL of the great pitchers of the past pitched a lot of innings and RARELY had arm problems.”

        Mike T,
        Sounds like a three-way ‘chicken or the egg’ scenario. Did they pitch lots of innings because they rarely had arm problems? Did pitching lots of innings make them great? Were they great because they rarely had arm problems?

        You don’t make rules based on the exceptions. Everyone loves to talk about Nolan Ryan and Co. when making the arguments for pitch counts. The problem is that the greats are usually rare, and for a reason. I don’t know how much hard data there is on the subject of pitch counts, and I’m sure that the evolution of some aspects of the game makes historical comparisons like this a little harder to make.

        You list Galarraga in your 4-man rotation. I love the guy, but have you seen him this month? Somebody told the league he doesn’t throw strikes, and they listened.

        • RPS

          May 18, 2009 at 12:00 pm

          The great pitchers of the past were great because they had the luck to avoid arm troubles. For every Bob Feller or Walter Johnson, there are dozens of guys like Koufax and Sheets who only had a chance to be great for a couple years and thousands of talented guys who had no or one great season(s) (Fidyrich, anyone?) because the 200 pitch game is horribly bad for your shoulder.

          Look at the injury histories of the great pitchers. Did they not get injured because they were just that good? More likely, they ended up being great pitchers because they happened to have the ligaments, tendons, and motion that allowed them to avoid injury. To put it a slightly more statistical way, there is a heavy selection bias. The great pitchers from the past are necessarily selected from a pool of pitchers who remained injury free.

          It’s like having a 100 yard dash on a minefield. The winners would not necessarily be the fastest guys to line up, but the fastest ones who didn’t hit a mine. In the same way, the greats are not the best pitchers ever, but the best ones to not hit a shoulder mine. Some (probably most) of the best pitchers ever to step on a mound ran smack into a mine. If you dig up the mines, the fastest are allowed to be the best.

          And, in that analogy, I guess Roy Halladay has a metal detector or a bomb suit or something.

  7. Mr. X

    May 17, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Larish is starting at 3B Today. Inge gets the day off.

    Santiago will be in for Polanco. Should be an interesting line-up.

  8. Pingback: The Spot Starters » 2009 Season Armando Galarraga Dontrelle Willis Jeremy Bonderman Rick Porcello » Bondo Bounces Back

  9. Mike Thompson

    May 17, 2009 at 10:18 am

    It’s evident Maggs has something on his mind and it’s been there since the WBC. He just doesn’t have the same look in his eyes either when batting oer on the field. I watched a show on Fox Detroit about him and you can see he is a really deep person. Deep people can let things get to them and it sticks.From watching the show, which showed his batting since he made the Bigs, I see a difference in his batting posture. His left shoulder is about 2″ higher than shown in the past, resulting in his shoulders being tilted and actually limiting his vision. The result is lost timing. If you watch you can see that he has to momentarily level his shoulders before the swing which slows him down by a couple seconds making his swing “late”. The adjustment delays his swing, resulting in lost time and less power and contact. The batting coach should catch this and help this great player fix that beautiful stroke.

  10. Craig Colwell

    May 18, 2009 at 11:17 am

    I have, quitely/painfully, watched Maggs struggles this season (He does seem to be driving the ball lately.) I have wondered if it had something to do with the whole Hugo Chavez business. I also saw someone speculate on one of the Blogs that he was having issues with his marriage (As if this was any of our business). We now come to find out that his wife is having surgery this week. This must be what JL referred to when he said MAGGS had other things on his mind.
    I think this should be a reminder to us all that these guys have lives outside of baseball, and no matter how much money you are paid there are certain things that will distract you from your work.
    All of our comments are made from afar and I for one feel like a jerk for harping on Ordonez (even privately) for his lack of production.

    • Chris in Dallas

      May 18, 2009 at 3:07 pm

      I personally haven’t been too worried about Magglio’s struggles. I mean, I’ve watched him hit for years now and know what he’s capable of when he gets into a groove. I hope everything turns out well off-the-field.