Pitch f/x is encouraged by Bonderman

Jeremy Bonderman has had a very long road back from the surgery he underwent to correct thoracic compression outlet syndrome. There was hope he’d be back in the rotation this year, but his spring became very extended and he didn’t make his first appearance until June 8th – and he was crushed. It was back to the minors and more rest and rehab, but with the rosters expanded Bonderman is back as a reliever, and the pitch f/x data is promising…so far.

When Bonderman made his June start, his pitches didn’t behave in the way they had in the past. His velocity was down. His fastball didn’t have the same arm side run. His slider wasn’t as tight and was more of a sweeping pitch. The particulars (via Brooks Baseball) were:

Pitch Count Speed Horiz Move Vert Move
FF 48 89.59 -6.66 8.71
FT 5 89.16 -8.16 6.25
SL 22 82.44 1.32 3.25
CH 10 83.69 -7.13 8.32


Let’s fast forward to his latest 2 outings. The results have certainly been better, but what about the stuff?

Pitch Count Speed Horiz Move Vert Move
FF 23 91.60 -9.00 8.55
FT 3 91.03 -10.02 6.31
SL 10 84.13 -0.87 1.57


We see that his velocity is up about 2mph across the board. The fastball has a couple more inches of arm side run and the slider has an inch and a half more drop. This all seems to be good and much more in line with Bonderman’s past pitch f/x numbers.

I’m going to skip the 2008 numbers where he was clearly hurting and couldn’t maintain his velocity. This clouded pitch classification data greatly. Instead I’ll put the numbers from 2007 up. These were harvested from Fangraphs.

Pitch Count Speed Horiz Move Vert Move
FF   92.1 -8.6 7.7
FT   88 -10.7 9.8
SL   84.1 0.5 1.6
CH   84.2 -8 8.3


The pitches from September (granted there are only 36 of them) look much more like the pitches from 2007 than the pitches from the June start. And yes, small sample sirens should be going off. And this is far from an ideal analysis. I’m certain there are pitch classification issues that are especially prevalent between the two seam (FT) and four seam (FF) fastballs. Plus the system was relatively new in 2007 and still being calibrated. Still, the results from this cursory analysis are encouraging.

Dontrelle’s Latest Disaster

The rocky Tigers career of Dontrelle Willis has been well documented. And the story just keeps getting sadder as Willis walked 8 hitters in his rehab start for Toledo. There is this rush in sports conversation today to be the first to declare someone “done” and to call for a release. Much of it is premature and reactionary (Armando Galarraga is the true ace of the staff and Brandon Lyon should be released were popular refrains in April). But we’re on 2 years of frustration with Willis. It’s time.

The fact that the Tigers are even putting Willis on a rehab assignment is surprising. He may have another start left, or at least he was planned to before his latest outing. But to what end? Willis is in no position to join the team at this point and contribute in a very key month of the season. His activation from the DL would only serve to inhibit playoff roster flexibility.

The Tigers have been patient and Willis has done his part by the sounds of things and has been a professional through his ordeal. We don’t know what has happened behind closed doors and there is very little talk that filters through to the media. Both sides get credit for that as well. But it’s time.

There was little harm in holding on to Willis this year, they were paying him anyways and eating 2 years of salary is a harder pill to swallow. It was only a matter of holding a 40 man roster spot, and it was worth pursuing. But now the 40 man roster is full and there are a number of players who will need protecting this offseason and that spot will be better spent on a prospect.

I’d guess it doesn’t happen until the offseason, there isn’t a pressing need to rock any boats right now. But I’d be shocked if he is on the 40 man roster by the time the Winter Meetings arrive in Indianapolis. We’ll always have May 19th.

Tigers Minor League Wrap 8/28/09

Indianapolis 6 Toledo 7
Mike Hessman went 3 for 4 with 2 doubles. Scott Sizemore and Wil Rhymes each had 2 hits. Eddie Bonine allowed 5 runs on 10 hits in 5.2 innings. Jeremy Bonderman fanned 2 and allowed 2 hits in 1 inning.

Altoona 9 Erie 6
Santo De Leon had 2 doubles. Deik Scram walked twice and singled. Brennan Boesch homerd and walked. Ramon Garcia allowed 5 runs in 4.2 innings on 7 hits, 4 walks, and 3 K’s.

Lakeland 2 Dunedin 3
Jeramy Laster homered. Justin Henry tripled. Ryan Ketchner went 6 innings and he allowed 3 runs on 5 hits and a walk with 6 K’s. Austin Wood allowed 2 hits but no runs in 2 innings.

Fort Wayne 5 West Michigan 8
Gustavo Nunez needed a homer for the cycle. Ben Guez had 3 hits including 2 doubles and has pushed his season line to 278/323/487. Adam Wilk continues to pitch well with 5 K’s, no walks and just 1 run on 4 hits in 4.2 innings.

Oneonta PPD

GCL Pirates 0 GCL Tigers 3
James Robbins and Elvis Soto each had 3 hits including a homer for Soto. Edwin Gomez and Chao-Ting Tang each had 2 hits. Zach Samuels pitched 7 shut out innings with 4 K’s, 1 walk, and 6 hits.

Nate Robertson to start Saturday

Armando Galarraga hits the DL is optioned to Toledo with elbow inflammation per Jason Beck. Rick Porcello gets moved up to Friday and Nate Robertson will make the start on Saturday.

Robertson has been pitching in the rotation for Toledo on his rehab assignment and he’s had some sparkling results as of late especially his last start, a 6.2 inning shut out performance with 9 K’s, 3 hits, and 2 walks on all of 68 pitches.

Tigers Minor League Wrap & More 8/25/09

Louisville 3 Toledo 2
Wilkin Ramirez and Wil Rhymes each had 2 hits. Nate Robertson started and went 6.2 innings, he allowed 3 hits, no runs, 2 walks, and he fanned 9 – and it only took him 68 pitches to do it. Jeremy Bonderman didn’t fare as well allowing 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk in 1 inning.

Erie 5 Reading 8
Michael Bertram was a single short of the cycle. Casper Wells had 3 hits including 2 doubles. Jared Gayhart got another start and lasted 4 innings with 5 K’s, 2 walks, 4 hits, and 1 run.

Lakeland 4 Daytona 6
Devin Thomas and Jeramy Laster each had 2 doubles. Lauren Gagnier allowed 2 homers and 4 runs on 8 hits, 2 walks, and 5 K’s in 5 innings. Austin Wood pitched a scoreless inning with a strike out.

West Michigan 3 Lansing 4
Billy Nowlin homered for 1 of his 3 hits. Ben Guez and Luis Salas each had 2 hits, and Salas added 2 walks. Luke Putkonen fanned 8 in 6 shutout innings allowing 2 walks and 4 hits. Jade Todd was lit up for 4 runs in 2.1 innings.

Oneonta 1 Staten Island 4
Jamie Johnson doubled and walked. Alexis Espinoza doubled an singled. Mark Newman pitched 4 shutout innings with 4 hits, no walks and 2 K’s.

GCL Tigers 1 GCL Blue Jays 4
Brett Anderson went 2 for 4. Rayni Guichardo pitched 6 shutout innings and fanned 5 against 3 walks and 3 hits. Melvin Mercedes picked up his 15th save with a scoreless inning.

Minors Notes

The Tigers preliminary Arizona Fall League roster was announced. Robbie Weinhardt, Cody Satterwhite, Thad Weber, Ryan Strieby, Cale Iorg, and Scott Sizemore will represent the Tigers. Take 75 North breaks down the selections.

Also of note, Jeff Larish is done for the year as his wrist required surgery. Larish did pretty much nothing at the plate the latter part of the year and at least with an injury there is some explanation.

Tigers Minor League Wrap 8/24/09

Louisville 5 Toledo 0
Scott Sizemore doubled and walked. Brooks Brown left after 3 innings, and 3 runs. Freddy Dolsi and Zach Simons each pitched perfect innings.

Akron 3 Erie 1
Deik Scram went 2 for 4. Danny Worth walked 3 times. Jon Kibler allowed just 1 hit in 6 innings to go with 7 k’s an d4 walks. Alfredo Figaro pitched 1 inning of relief with a walk and 2 K’s. Cody Satterwhite took the loss allowing 3 runs in his inning of work.

Lakeland DNP

West Michigan 5 Lansing 4
Jordan Lennerton and Joe Bowen each had a double and a single. Robert Waite pitched 6 shut-out innings allowing just 4 hits and a walk while fanning 2. Brandon Hamilton coughed up the lead with 3 runs on 4 hits (including a homer) in 1 inning.

Staten Island 6 Oneonta 7 (11 innings)
Alexis Espinoza had 3 hits including 2 doubles. Rawley Bishop walked 3 times and doubled. Jose Siso allowed 4 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks with 4 K’s in 5 innings.

Oneonta 1 Staten Island 2
Rawley Bishop singled and walked. Luis Angel Sanz walked 5 but allowed just 1 run in 5 innings.

GCL Tigers 10 GCL Yankees 0
Chao-Ting Tang homered, singled, and walked twice. James Robbins, Francisco Martinez, and Londell Taylor all had multi-hit games. Giovany Soto pitched 5 shut-out innings on 4 hits, 1 walk, and 4 K’s. Marcos Nunez went the other 4 innings and he also allowed 4 hits and fanned 4.

Tigers Minor League and Rehab Wrap 8/20/09

Toledo 10 Columbus 1
Nate Robertson went 5 innings and allowed 1 run on 5 hits with no walks and 4 K’s. Jeremy Bonderman didn’t allow a hit in 2 innings and he fanned 2 and walked none. Dusty Ryan went 3 for 5 with a homer. Don Kelly also had 3 hits and a homer. Wil Rhymes went 3 for 6.

Erie 2 Trenton 0
Brennan Boesch went 1 for 2 with 2 walks. Jared Gayhart fanned 6 and walked 1 in 5 innings of 1 hit ball. Cody Satterwhite fanned 3 and allowed 1 hit in his 3 innings.

Lakeland 3 Tampa 4
Max Leon went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles. Charlie Furbush allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks with 5 K’s in 3 innings.

West Michigan 4 Dayton 5
Ben Guez went 3 for 4 with 2 doubles. Billy Nowlin had 3 hits including a homer. Luke Putkonen fanned 5 and walked none in 7.2 inning and all he surrendered was 1 unearned run on 2 hits. Tyler Stohr has been good this year, but didn’t have it last night as he allowed 4 runs in the 9th inning.

Williamsport 5 Oneonta 8
Camelo Jaime homered as part of a 3 for 4 day. Jaime Johnson singled twice and tripled. John Murian went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk. Nate Newman allowed 3 runs on 3 hits and a walk in 2 innings.

GCL Braves 7 GCL Tigers 8
Alexander Nunez went 4 for 6 with a triple. James Robbins went 3 for 6 with a homer. Nolan Moody went the last 4 innings and allowed no runs on 2 hits, 1 walk and 5 K’s.

Tigers Minor League Wrap 8/18/09

Toledo 7 Columbus 6
Scott Sizemore doubled twice and homered. Dane Sardhina homered and singled. Brent Dlugach had 2 hits. Dontrelle Willis started and allowed 1 run on 1 hit and a walk with a K before leaving in the second inning with a knee injury. Brooks Brown came in and threw 4.2 innings allowing 3 runs on 6 hits, a walk, and a strike out.

Erie 6 Trenton 7 (10 innings)
Max St. Pierre doubled and homered. Danny Worth and Mike Bertram each had 2 hits. Ramon Garcia allowed 10 hits and 6 runs in 3 innings with no walks or strikeouts. Robbie Weinhardt and Brendan Wise each pitched 3 scoreless innings of relief.

Erie 1 Trenton 2
Mike Bertram had a double. Jon Kibler walked 5 and allowed 5 hits leading to 2 runs in 5.1 innings.

Clearwater 7 Lakeland 10
Devin Thomas went 2 for 3 with a homer and a walk. Christopher White homered and doubled. Mark Sorensen continues to struggle at Lakeland, this time he was tagged for 5 runs on 12 hits in 4.1 innings.

West Michigan DNP

Williamsport 0 Oneonta 2
Jamie Johnson doubled and walked. Luis Angel Sanz got the complete game shutout with 9 K’s, 3 walks, and 4 hits.

GCL Tigers 6 GCL Phillies 3
Alexander Nunez tripled and homered. Jordan Cruz had 2 hits. Rayni Guichardo allowed 3 runs on 4 hits, 2 walks, and 2 K’s in 6 innings.

Minor Links

  • Baseball America published their A ball best tools list. Casey Crosby rates as the best pitching prospect in the Midwest League by sporting the best fastball. Audy Ciriaco and Gustavo Nunez rated as the best infield arms in their respective leagues.
  • Take 75 North speculates on Daniel Fields (who threw out the first pitch Wednesday night at Comerica Park) starting assignment next year.

Tigers Minor League and Rehab Wrap 8/17/09

Columbus 4 Toledo 8
Mike Hessman 2 for 4 2B, HR. Jeff Fraizer 2 for 4, HR. Ruddy Lugo 6 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 3 BB, 3 K. Jeremy Bonderman 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K.

Erie DNP

Clearwater 5 Lakeland 1
Audy Ciriaco 2 for 4, SB. Justin Henry 2 for 4, 2 SB. Ryan Ketchner 6.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 HR.

South Bend 3 West Michigan 8
Alden Carrithers 2 for 4, 3B. Ben Guez, 2 for 4, 2 2B. Avisail Garcia, 2 for 3, 2B. Adam Wilk 6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 W, 2 K.

Oneonta DNP

GCL Tigers 2 GCL Pirates 3
Francisco Martinez 3 for 5, 2B, SB. Chao Ting Tang 2 for 5. Zach Samuels 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K.

Roster/Rehab Notes

Chris Lambert was DFA’d to make room for Jacob Turner’s contract. Lambert was at least solid for AAA despite his struggles. I’m a little surprised it wasn’t Mike Hollimon who has battled injuries and is too old to really be considered a prospect at this point.

In the same article it is noted that Dontrelle Willis was scratched from a rehab start due to a sore hip and his rehab is now on hold.

Tigers Minor League Wrap 8/15/09

Toledo 1 Louisville 4
Brent Dlugach doubled and singled. Nate Robertson allowed 3 hits and a walk in 3 scoreless innings with 3 strikeouts. Jeremy Bonderman allowed a solo homer with 1 K in his 9 pitch inning.

Erie 2 Connecticut 3
Brennan Boesch, Cale Iorg, and Deik Scram each had 2 hits. Jonah NIckerson allowed 3 runs on 6 hits, 3 walks and a strike out in 6.2 innings. Jared Gayhart finished the game and didn’t allow any baserunners.

Lakeland – DH was suspended

South Bend 12 West Michigan 3
Gustavo Nunez and Billy Nowlin each had 2 hits. Victor Larez was touched for 6 runs in 4 innings. Brandon Hamilton allowed 2 runs in 2 innings. Eric Crichton surrendered 4 unearned runs in his inning.

Oneonta 2 Brooklyn 1
Keith Hernandez doubled and homered. Alexis Espinoza doubled. Jose Siso pitched 5 shut out innings allowing 2 hits and 3 walks while fanning 3.

GCL Pirates 7 GCL Tigers 2
Chao Ting Tang went 2 for 3. Jacob Cruz and Francisco Martinez each doubled. Zach Samuels fanned 3 in 4.2 innings of no run ball. Gary Perinar was torched for 7 runs in 4.1 innings despite striking out 7.

Tigers Minor League Wrap 8/13/09

Toledo 3 Syracuse 4
Wilkin Ramirez homered. Wil Rhymes went 2 for 4 with a double. Josh Rainwater started and and allowed 3 runs in 4 innings with 4 hits, 3 walks, and 2 homers. Jermey Bonderman threw 1.1 innings and fanned 2, walked 1, and allowed a run on 3 hits. He threw 38 pitches, 24 for strikes.

Erie 0 New Britain 1 (12 innings)
Brennan Boesch, Casper Wells, and Danny Worth each had 2 hits. Jon Kibler fanned 7 in 6 shutout innings with 1 walk and 5 hits allowed. Brett Jensen tossed 3 shut out innings and allowed 2 hits and 1 walk to go with 4 K’s. Zach Simons allowed a run on 2 hits in the 12th.

Lakeland 2 Clearwater 6
Jeramy Laster went 2 for 4. Mark Sorensen was rocked for 6 runs in 5.2 innings.

West Michigan 14 Dayton 2
Gustavo Nunez went 4 for 5 with 2 homers. Ben Guez was a triple short of the cycle. Avisail Garcia and Billy Nowlin each had 2 hits. Luke Putkonen allowed 2 runs in 7 innings with 9 hits, no walks, and 1 strikeout.

Oneonta 10 State College 1
Michael Rockett went 3 for 4 with a double. Wade Gaynor is heating up after a slow start and he doubled, tripled, and walked. Luis Angel Sanz went all 7 innings and allowed a solo homer among 7 hits with 2 walks and 4 K’s.

GCL Tigers PPD

Tigers Minor League Wrap 8/6/09

Gwinnett 3 Toledo 10
Jeff Frazier had 3 doubles. Brent Clevlen singled and homered. Don Kelly and Wilkin Ramirez each had multi-hit games with extra base hits. Nate Bump went 8 innings, fanning 7 and allowing just 4 hits. Jeremy Bonderman allowed 3 runs on 3 hits, including a homer, in his inning of work which included 19 of his 21 pitches going for strikes. According to the game story one of the hits was a chopper and the other two came off the split finger fastball which he is trying to develop.

New Britain 10 Erie 0
Cale Iorg doubled. That was it for Erie highlights. Ramon Garcia didn’t make it out of the 5th innings before allowing 4 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks. Jared Gayhart was touched up for 3 runs in 1.2 innings and has a 7.36 ERA at Erie.

Tampa 7 Lakeland 6
Justin Henry needed a homer to hit for the cycle. Audy Ciriaco, Jordan Newton, Devin Thomas, and Joe Tucker all had 2 hit games. Ryan Ketchner allowed 5 runs (3 earned) in 5 innings on 8 hits and 2 K’s.

South Bend 4 West Michigan 9
Alden Carrithers went 4 for 5 including a triple. Ben Guez went 3 for 5 including a triple. Luis Salas walked twice and doubled. Brandon Hamilton walked 4 leading to 4 runs in 3 innings. Robert Waite picked him up though and threw 5 innings allowing just 1 hit and walking none.

Jamestown 1 Oneonta 6
Rawley Bishop went 2 for 4 with a homer. Keith Hernandez singled and doubled. Carmelo Jaime tripled, singled, and walked. Luis Angel Sanz fanned 8 and walked 1 in 6 innings where he allowed 1 run on 5 hits. Michael Torrealba fanned 5 and walked 1 in 2 innings of no hit work.

GCL Phillies 7 GCL Tigers 3
Edgar Corcino singled and doubled. Pat McKenna and Julio Rodriguez each had 2 hit games. Giovany Soto pitched 5 shut out innings allowing 2 hits and no walks while fanning 6. He now has 23 K’s in 26 innings and a 0.69 ERA…and he turned 18 in May.