Bonderman is shut down from throwing until the Tigers medical staff can get the pain out of his shoulder. It was enough of a concern that the Tigers sent him to visit noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla., for an exam Friday morning.
To take his place, Detroit recalled reliever Ryan Perry from Triple-A Toledo. He joined the team Friday for its weekend series against the Pirates.
Bonderman missed most of last season with surgery to correct a blood vessel restriction in his shoulder, then spent this spring building up strength in his arm. His first Major League start in over a year saw him give up six runs, including three home runs, over four-plus innings in the second game of Monday's day-night doubleheader against the White Sox.
He wasn't at full velocity Monday and hasn't been since coming back. The soreness is related. Whenever Bonderman went to extend his arm on a ball and throw it harder, or whenever his arm would start to tire, he would feel the soreness.
"When he took that step up, he wasn't ready for that next step," Rand said.
Bonderman spent the past few days in the Tigers' bullpen. He said Thursday he was available if needed, but Friday's news explains in part why manager Jim Leyland didn't consider him a long-term option in relief.
There's no timetable for Bonderman's return. He's scheduled to fly to Pittsburgh and rejoin the team Saturday and work with the training staff while Rand and doctors come up with a plan of stretching and strengthening work for him.
Perry joined the Mud Hens on Thursday for the start of their homestand, but he had barely had enough time to play catch before pitching coach A.J. Sager told him he was rejoining the Tigers. He met up with the club again just before batting practice Friday afternoon at PNC Park.
By rule, players who are optioned to the Minor Leagues can't return to the Majors within 10 days unless they're replacing a player who goes on the disabled list.
"You can't get rid of me that easy," Perry said in jest as he unpacked his bags in the visitors' clubhouse.
The 22-year-old right-hander went 0-1 with a 3.13 ERA in 23 appearances for the Tigers, striking out 22 batters over 23 innings. He began the season as a second option for setup work while Joel Zumaya was on the disabled list, then fell into a longer role once Zumaya returned.
Leyland was hoping Perry would get some regular innings in Toledo, but the quick turnaround didn't allow it. The adventures in travel -- from Chicago to Detroit, then to Toledo, then back to Detroit and on to Pittsburgh -- means that Perry hasn't pitched since Sunday against the Angels at Comerica Park.
"We really wanted Perry to stay down a little bit," Leyland said, "but he really was our best choice."
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.