So the latest news out of the Tigers confirms that Joel Zumaya is almost certainly not on the 25-man roster to start the season, because he will not be ready in time. So that’s not a real shocker. However, news that Jeremy Bonderman might not be ready, either, is disconcerting, especially in light of Rick Porcello showing his age for a second straight start.
First, on Bonderman, Jim Leyland said:
“I look at the bright side: There’s no pain. That indicates to me that (his velocity) is going to come back. Exactly how soon, I can’t answer that. But the positive sign is he’s not hurt at all. … The great news on Bonderman is he feels fine, and he’s got no pain in his arm. … But is he going to be ready? I don’t know.”
The Tigers cannot even find a quality fifth starter right now. Needless to say, it’s not a good thing if they have to look for the fourth starter, too, especially in light of Nate Robertson’s pitching thumb injury on Wednesday. Fortunately, Robertson should be fine, but he may miss his next start. We’ll see. Obviously, Zach Miner could still be used in the rotation if needed, and Dontrelle Willis is an unlikely wild card. That leaves Rick Porcello, who pitched Thursday.
He went 62 pitches against the Rays on Thursday, but that only netted him seven outs. He loaded the bases after going to a full count against four of the first five batters he faced. In short, it wasn’t a very strong outing. Bright side, he only gave up one run, despite everything. Leyland assures Porcello couldn’t have pitched his way onto the Tigers’ roster with a good showing and didn’t pitch himself off with a bad one.
“There’s been enough written, enough speculation, that there’s a chance for him. And that’s just what it is, is a chance. And I’m sure he knows that, he reads that. We’re just going to continue to watch it.
“We have two or three more starts, so we’ll see. He’s a very talented guy, but he will definitely have to be able throw more pitches over the plate. By saying that, I also think that he’s very capable of that.”