Mar 15, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Jeremy Bonderman (32) pitches during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremy Bonderman To Start For Seattle Mariners Sunday


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.

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  • rings13

    I would only disagree that it was “just” injuries that derailed his career. He never developed more than a fastball/slider arsenal, and was regularly lit up when his slider wasn’t sharp. I think Tiger patience was running out, regardless of his health.
    IMO, he was much better suited as a reliever (closer?), which may have kept him healthier as well.