If he can do that, he hopes to make his next scheduled start at Cleveland on Monday, though manager Alan Trammell called the chances of that "iffy."
"Just to even say there's a possibility, wow," Trammell said. "But I'd have to say chances are we're going to have to make an adjustment."
If Bonderman's spot is skipped, or even if he has to be pushed back a couple of days, both Trammell and pitching coach Bob Cluck said long reliever Roman Colon would step in to make a start.
Cluck has been looking for a way to see Colon in a start after seeing him in long relief for the better part of a month since being acquired via the Kyle Farnsworth trade. Colon relieved Bonderman on Wednesday, giving up three runs in 2 2/3 innings as well as allowing two inherited runners to score.
Colon has had mixed results as a Tiger, but he's shown the potential that wooed team officials during trade talks with Atlanta.
"He's got a great arm, throws 96 [mph]," Cluck said. "He has a split grip that's already pretty much in place. He just needs some fine-tuning. But I'm happy we have him. He's a talented guy. Colon is going through a period where it's not us adjusting to him, it's him relaxing. He came to the organization and felt a lot of pressure. He knows who he was traded for. He has a lot to prove in his mind, and he hasn't quite relaxed yet. But he will."
Coincidentally, top pitching prospect Joel Zumaya was held out of his scheduled start for Triple-A Toledo Thursday afternoon at Norfolk. However, Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish told reporters after the game that Zumaya simply didn't feel right and the move had nothing to do with Major League matters. Cluck echoed that, calling it "an extreme precautionary measure."
Zumaya is scheduled to start again Wednesday.
Speculation has percolated this summer as to whether the Tigers would give Zumaya, the Minor League leader in strikeouts, a start in Detroit this season. They don't have to put the 20-year-old right-hander on the 40-man roster for another year.
What a catch: While the ball Bonderman took off his wrist was the talk of the game, Curtis Granderson's leaping catch against the left-field fence Wednesday night wasn't far off. He robbed Nick Swisher of what would've been a two-run home run to put the A's into double-digit runs.
The play came just after Granderson moved from center field to left. Though he plays deep as a center fielder, he tends to be more aggressive in left and trusts that he can move back quickly on deep balls.
"Right off the bat I thought it was going to break towards the line," Granderson said, "but he hit so well it just kept going straight. And it wasn't one of those that he smashed and it was going to go 20 rows up [into the stands]. He just hit it really well and it kept going. I was able to get to it and beat it before it got out."
Trammell sees a good defensive outfielder in Granderson, good enough to be compared with Mark Kotsay in terms of style.
"[Kotsay] doesn't have that great foot speed, but he's quick," Trammell said. "He's just quick to the ball instinctively. That's like Granderson. And Granderson is faster than Kotsay in foot speed. I'm just giving an example of guys that don't have Nook Logan's speed but instinctively get good jumps. Curtis Granderson does that."
On second thought: Trammell said Wednesday he didn't plan on playing Pena in Thursday afternoon's game. A look at Pena's stats against A's starter Barry Zito (5-for-14 lifetime with two home runs) helped change Trammell's mind.
Instead of sitting Dmitri Young or Chris Shelton, Trammell found a way to get all three of his first baseman/DH sluggers into the lineup. Shelton started at first base, Pena at DH, and Young was in left field. Craig Monroe started in center field for the first time since the Aug. 14 doubleheader at Kansas City.
Pena went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Coming up: The Tigers head to Boston for the start of a three-game series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Jason Johnson (7-9, 4.09 ERA) will start for the Tigers opposite knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (12-10, 4.29 ERA) in Friday's series opener. Game time is set for 8:05 p.m. ET.