By Ashley Dunkak
COMERICA PARK (CBS DETROIT) – The Detroit Tigers organization brought back a familiar face Sunday, signing right-handed pitcher Jeremy Bonderman to Triple-A Toledo.
Bonderman spent the first eight years of his career with the Tigers, and he missed the 2011 and 2012 seasons having surgeries on his shoulder and elbow.
The Seattle Mariners recalled Bonderman from Triple-A Tacoma this year after he recorded a 4.24 ERA over 11 games there. Bonderman made seven starts for the Mariners – his first on June 2 – before being designated for assignment July 8.
He had compiled a 4.93 ERA and 1.487 WHIP in seven games in the majors this season, walking 17 batters and striking out 16.
Tigers ace Justin Verlander and Bonderman were teammates over six seasons, from 2005 to 2010. Verlander said they are still very good friends and that he was thrilled that Bonderman was doing well again.
“I don’t think anybody was happier except maybe his family for seeing him get back to Seattle in the big leagues and pitch pretty well,” Verlander said. “It’s nice to hear he’s doing well. I’m glad he’s back playing baseball. Obviously I wish the best for him, wish he was in the big leagues, but to be with the Tigers again, the team that it all started with, is good for him personally.”
While Verlander cannot necessarily wish Bonderman up to the majors since the Tigers already have such a solid starting rotation, he is excited for the possibility of future success for Bonderman, particularly because he told Verlander he is feeling better than he has in years.
“You kind of see with Victor [Martinez, who missed 2012 recover from ACL surgery] taking some time off from the game, it takes a while to get back into the game, especially at this level,” Verlander said. “When I talked to him, he said he feels like he’s 20 years old again, he’s throwing without pain, which is great.”