Jeremy Bonderman pitched for the West Michigan Whitecaps (A) last night in his first “real” action of the season. It’s nice to see Bonderman back out there even though that uniform he was wearing was hideous.
Here’s his line from last night:
- 7 innings, 6 hits, 1 BB, 2 R, 4 K, 94 pitches
Bonderman says that he feels like he only needs a start or two to get himself ready for the big leagues. I think the Tigers would like it to take a bit longer than that for a few reasons.
One, I think would like to make sure that Bonderman is ready when he comes back. The big league field is no place to find out if you’re ready or not, just ask Dontrelle Willis. Meanwhile, the Tigers have a bit of a jam in the rotation and a little bit more time before inserting Bonderman would be nice. It could allow Dontrelle Willis a couple of more shots to figure it out, ditto for the struggling Armando Galarraga.
So, once Bonderman is back for good, who gets bounced?
Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson are not getting moved for anyone. Those guys are safe. That leaves us with three more guys who could lose their starting jobs to Bonderman:
- Rick Porcello: You know, I wouldn’t mind this. Porcello has been better than expected so far this season, but he’s still just 20 years old. I don’t know about you, but I would love to see this guy in a Tigers uniform (channeling my inner Rod Allen) for the next 10-15 years. The Tigers would be wise to keep the number of pitches and innings down with him. Maybe letting him spend June/July in the bullpen wouldn’t be such a bad thing. It’s just hard to move the guy when he keeps winning.
- Dontrelle Willis: Willis is the least effective pitcher on this list, but he’s also the only lefty and is owed a ton of money. That can complicate things. Dontrelle has made just the one start, so I won’t jump to any major decisions about his future.
- Aramando Galarraga: Galarraga was the Tigers ace in 2008 and in April of this season. Since then, he’s just fallen off a cliff. Galarraga has made three starts in May and they have all been pretty bad. He boasts an ERA of 8.64 this month and has a record of 0-3. This guy used to be the losing streak buster but it hasn’t worked out that way lately.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of these guys lose their jobs, at least for a while. I don’t think anyone gets sent to the minors in this group, though. When Bonderman comes back up, I bet we see the odd man out in the bullpen. If I were a betting man, I’d say Galarraga gets bumped if he doesn’t turn it around this week.