06/05/09 6:55 PM ET
Bonderman to get first start since 2008
Right-hander will return to bigs to go against White Sox
By Kyle Austin / MLB.com
Bonderman last started for the Tigers on June 1, 2008, and has been sidelined since then following surgery to repair a blood clot. He pitched three rehab starts, most recently an eight-inning shutout performance Sunday with Triple-A Toledo, throwing 98 pitches.
Detroit manager Jim Leyland said the team will not likely announce who it will send down until between games Monday. He also said the decision on who that player will be -- and if it will be a pitcher or position player -- hasn't been made.
"We've tossed around several different scenarios," Leyland said.
Leyland said whether or not Bonderman returns to the rotation has yet to be determined and will partially hinge on his performance Monday. The manager called it "very unlikely" to carry six starters at this point in the season.
Bonderman has compiled a 59-66 record and 4.74 ERA in five-plus seasons with the Tigers, mostly as a starter. He said Tuesday that he will be a different pitcher after his year-long absence. Most notably, his fastball is about five miles per hour slower than it had been before the injury. That will force him to rely more on his changeup than he had before, and become a "smarter pitcher."
"It's going to be a different style of game than what I'm used to," Bonderman said.
Kyle Austin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.