Bonderman awaits word on next step

Bonderman awaits word on next step

DETROIT -- Jeremy Bonderman hasn't been scheduled for a return to the Tigers yet, but he hasn't been scheduled for another rehab start with Triple-A Toledo, either. At this point, he's awaiting instructions.

Bonderman was scheduled to throw a side session in the bullpen. He met with manager Jim Leyland and pitching coach Rick Knapp on Tuesday to work out a plan for the next several days.

"We're going to look at it and evaluate it and see where we stand," Leyland said.

Bonderman, recovering from right shoulder soreness after surgery last summer to free up a restricted blood vessel in his shoulder, said after his bullpen session that his arm felt fine, as expected. He needed just 98 pitches to toss eight scoreless innings in his third rehab start for Triple-A Toledo on Sunday night against Charlotte, scattering six hits with no walks and five strikeouts.

He feels like he's ready, but he isn't going to make an issue of it, instead allowing the Tigers to work out how and when to work him back in or to have him make another start for the Mud Hens.

"I want to come back," Bonderman said. "But when I do come back, I feel bad for whoever's got to go, but nobody really deserves it. I just want to be a part of the team and help provide wins when I get back out there, whenever that is.

"I feel like I'm ready, but I'm also seeing that they've got a good thing going here. You don't want to break up a good thing."

The Tigers entered Tuesday with the American League's lowest ERA, having gotten a combined 14 wins from Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson and Rick Porcello. Dontrelle Willis put together solid pitching for three starts until giving up seven runs on 10 hits in five innings in his last outing, and Armando Galarraga showed signs of breaking out of his May struggles in defeat last Thursday.

Further complicating matters is the day-night doubleheader the Tigers have to play next Monday at the White Sox. Leyland said Galarraga will start the first game on his regular turn, but didn't have anyone set for the nightcap. Detroit doesn't have another off-day until June 15, so they'll almost surely need another starter at some point in that stretch, whether it's Bonderman or someone else.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.