Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bonderman Shut Down For Regular Season

May Pitch Again in October, Too Soon To Tell

By

Clinton Riddle

SEPT 13, 2007-Why does it always happen to the young ones?

Jeremy Bonderman, one of the young guns in the Tigers' rotation, was shut down for the remainder of the season after an MRI showed inflammation of the lateral aspect (lateral collateral ligament, perhaps?) of his right elbow. This is a chronically recurring inflammation that Bonderman says he's been dealing with since 2005.

"I'm happy with the results", said Bonderman. "I'm just going to rest now. I've had this for three years. I had it in '05, and last year it came and went. This year, it kept lingering. For the rest of my career, I'm just going to have to focus on it. ... I've got to figure out how to have it not happen again."

There is, of course, much relief that there was no major injury reported, certainly nothing requiring surgery and perhaps costing Detroit the services of one of their dominant power pitchers for months.

"I didn't tell anybody how bad I was because l wanted to go out and pitch," he said. "Maybe some people don't think I did the smartest thing in the world, but the team gave me a contract and they need me to go out and pitch."

Leyland said, "We are trying to come up with a philosophy now in the organization that we want to know about the first minor little sign of anything (that is wrong with a player) so we can check it out. We can do research to make sure it doesn't turn into something else."

Something else, indeed. Fortunately for the Tigers, Bonderman decided to speak up. He would do well to look to his future, because he could have a very bright one.

OUTLOOK: Bonderman is still relying too much on that hard slider of his. He had been working on a changeup that was coming along quite well, and my feeling is that he needs to get back to changing speeds and working his infield a bit more, let the guys behind him do their job, instead of trying to blow it by everyone. This is always hard for young power pitchers to do, but he's apparently having to learn the hard way. I guess if I threw 99 mph fastballs, I'd think the same way, but he should think long-term. When he starts mixing in more changeups, I think that inflammation will abate and he'll get past it. Also, I ALWAYS take team medical reports with a grain of salt; after all, 'major injury' is a relative term. What they're willing to say is 'major' is subject to debate.

Good luck, Jeremy. I'm looking forward to many years of dominant performances, so take care of yourself NOW.


Clinton Riddle

Quotes from [url=http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070911/SPORTS02/709110387/1050/SPORTS01]The Detroit Free Press[/url]
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