Bonderman's struggles not injury-related

Bonderman's struggles not injury-related

DETROIT -- Jeremy Bonderman's sixth-inning exit in the Tigers' 8-6 loss to the Rangers on Monday marked his third struggling start in his past four outings, not just statistically but in his pitches. But manager Jim Leyland seemed to alleviate any injury concerns Tuesday.

"Yesterday was kind of a strange situation," Leyland said. "He started out the bullpen session coming into the game, [and he] was tremendous. The first inning was pretty good, then all of a sudden it wasn't coming out [well]. But the good news was that he began to pitch then and he also had absolutely no pain. That's what I was worried about. But he said he felt great. That's good news."

That was the first time in quite a while that any sort of injury was a topic of discussion with Bonderman. Given his injury struggles the past two seasons, though, it was a natural topic to come up once his struggles began in late June.

Bonderman has talked about struggling with consistency, and his slider hasn't had the same bite at times. That has seemed to be more of a command or mechanical issue.

-- Jason Beck