It’s been nearly three years since his last appearance in the major leagues, but former Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Jeremy Bonderman will once again get a chance to play in the big leagues. The Seattle Mariners announced that Bonderman would make the start to replace the ineffective 22-year old Brandon Maurer.
Bonderman, 30, threw only 252 2/3 innings from 2008-10 and did not pitch at all from 2011-12 due to Tommy John surgery and complications from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. In his last big-league season, he went 8-10 with a 5.53 ERA in 171 innings for the Tigers.
The Mariners signed Bonderman, a local kid from Washington, to a minor-league contract in spring training. His comeback attempt started in Triple-A, where he went 2-4 with a 4.52 ERA in 11 starts for Seattle’s Triple-A affiliate.
The 4.52 ERA he’s put up so far this year in AAA isn’t encouraging, nor is the accompanying 4.7 K/9 rate, but I’m a sucker for bounce-back stories so I’ll root for Bondo all the same.
Jeremy never became what the Tigers wanted him to become — injuries derailed his career while he was continually showing improvement — but he had to endure a number years on terrible teams while learning on the fly in the major leagues, and he was a big player as the franchise began to turn around.
He was a frustrating pitcher at times — a tremendous talent that couldn’t quite refine his arsenal enough to take the leap — but he’s a guy that I’ll cheer on for as long as he is willing to try the comeback. It’s one thing when a player just can’t do the job, but it’s never fun to see a guy pushed out too soon due to injuries.