Jeremy Bonderman last stepped on a major-league mound for a game that counts on Oct. 1, 2010, when he lost to the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards as a member of the Detroit Tigers.
On Sunday, he’ll be back out there at Target Field, this time wearing a Mariners’ uniform to face the Twins. In the interim, Bonderman sat out both the 2011 and 2012 seasons, recovering from shoulder surgery and then undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery in April of 2012.The Pasco resident decided to make a comeback this year with the Mariners and has spent the season with Class AAA Tacoma working on regaining his arm strength. He’s gone 2-4 with a 4.52 ERA in 11 starts, giving up 77 hits in 63 2/3 innings, striking out 33 and walking 18.
Manager Eric Wedge today confirmed what had become increasingly apparent: That Bonderman will come up from Tacoma to replace Brandon Maurer in the Mariners’ rotation. They will have to remove someone from the 25-man roster and also from the 40-man roster to make room, decisions that likely won’t be announced until Sunday.
“He’s been pretty consistent down there,” Wedge said. “It’s just a progression of what we saw this spring. He’s putting the ball on the ground, he’s been aggressive, his arm’s been pretty strong, using all his pitches. Obviously, he has a great deal of experience. He’s worked hard to get here, and he’ll have an opportunity on Sunday.”
Bonderman, 30, was 67-77 in eight seasons with the Tigers. This will be his 194th major-league start. He won 14 games in both 2005 and 2006, striking out 202 in the latter season. Wedge said he’s looking for Bonderman to give the Mariners a chance to win the game, which hasn’t always been the case with the bottom of their rotation.
“He’s been here and done it before,” he said. “You look at how hard he’s worked to get back here. I’m sure he’ll be ready to go on Sunday.”