Friday, August 14, 2009

Tigers now have $29.5 million trio pitching at Toledo

        Dontrelle Willis, who has been limited to seven starts this season and who has been on the disabled list since June 15, will begin another rehab assignment at Toledo on Monday.
        Willis will join Jeremy Bonderman and Nate Robertson, who are already rehabbing with Toledo -- which means the Tigers will three candidates for this season’s starting rotation, who are making a combined $29.5 million this year and who together are guaranteed $34.5 million next year, pitching at Triple-A.
        It is hardly a cost-effective situation.
        No wonder Jim Leyland sounded a bit testy Friday when he was asked about Willis who will start his first game since June 14 for the Mud Hens on Monday.
        “I’ve got too much else on my plate right now,” Leyland growled.
        “That goes for any of those guys down there,” the manager continued. “I don’t want to hear, ‘This guy threw two innings,’ or ‘This guy threw 17 pitches,’ or ‘This guy threw six strikes and four balls.’
        “If that sounds cold, then so be it. I don’t mean it that way. I’m hoping they all get back and can all help us this year. But until that happens, I’m not going to worry about it.”
        Bonderman, who has been pitching out of the Toledo bullpen, allowed one run in 1 1/3 innings of relief against Syracuse on Thursday night. In four outings, spanning five innings, he has yielded six runs on 12 hits.
        In two starts at Toledo, Robertson is 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA.
        Both will probably pitch out of the bullpen if and when they rejoin the Tigers this season, although the Tigers are counting on Bonderman to return to the starting rotation next year.


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