Trammell noted that he thought the soreness may have affected Bonderman's recent performance. The right-hander pitched well in his last outing, allowing two runs over eight innings in a 2-0 loss, but compiled a 6.75 ERA in August.
Trammell doesn't anticipate the elbow condition lingering as a long-term problem.
"We want to win as many games as we can," Trammell said, "but not at the expense of losing somebody like that for possibly longer."
Sean Douglass, recently shipped to the bullpen, will start in Bonderman's place on Friday night against Kansas City.
Behind closed doors:
Mired in a six-game losing streak, the Tigers held a 15-minute, closed-door meeting in the clubhouse on Wednesday afternoon.
"There's nothing that we haven't talked about before," Trammell said.
The meeting followed a stretch over which the club went 27 innings without scoring a run. Entering Wednesday, the Tigers had lost 11 of their last 13 games.
"We still have 26 games to go," Trammell said. "I refuse to give in."
Cut the check:
In the fourth inning on Wednesday night, Dmitri Young exceeded 500 plate appearances for the season with his second at-bat of the game. The mark automatically triggered the $8 million option on Young's contract for 2006.
Trammell declined to speculate on whether Carlos Guillen, still rehabilitating his surgically repaired right knee, is done for the season. Trammell did not rule out a return later in September.
"He's still not where he needs to be," Trammell said.
In need of an extra arm, the Tigers promoted pitcher Matt Ginter from Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday. Ginter recorded a 5.47 ERA in 10 appearances with the Tigers earlier this year. In Toledo, Ginter split time between the bullpen and the rotation, going 4-3 with a 4.33 ERA.
The Mud Hens, meanwhile, begin the International League playoffs on Wednesday night in Norfolk, Va.
The Tigers will zip down to Cleveland on Thursday to make up a game rained out on Aug. 30. Detroit's Nate Robertson (6-12, 4.33 ERA) will oppose Kevin Millwood (7-11, 3.15 ERA) in a game set for a 4:05 p.m. ET start. The Tigers will resume their homestand on Friday night, opening a three-game set against Kansas City.