Saturday, July 09, 2005

Bondo needs help from "The Gambler"

After AL manager Terry Francona stated publicly that his first alternate would be his own guy Matt Clement, it looked like Bonderman's All-Star break would be spent fishing with Doug Creek. However, Roy Halladay went down last night after getting hit in the shin by a line drive. Halladay was taken to the hospital for x-rays and obviously wasn't able to finish the game. For all I know, Halladay could be fine but I doubt that he'll be 100% for the All-Star game in three days. If he can't make it, then Clement is in.

I would have to think that Bonderman would be the next alternate since he has 11 wins and a sub 4.00 era. It all comes down to Texas Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers. He still hasn't stated whether or not he'll withdraw himself from the mid-season classic after attacking two cameramen. Hopefully, The Gambler "knows when to fold 'em" and "knows when to walk away". If he does, Bonderman will make the All-Star team at age 22.


Tony said...

The Gambler says no dice to bondomania! At least Zumaya and Verlander get to see some action, with one of them starting (George Brett hasn't decided yet)

Tony said...

to update what i said about Verlander and Zumaya, and maybe Jake will blog this later...

The futures game was actually Sunday, with Verlander starting. He pitched the first inning, only needing 10 pitches. He again was repeatedly clocking high 90s, gave up one hit, with no k's. Zumaya came in and pitched the 4th inning. He got the side out in order on 11 pitches, all fastballs, hitting as high as 99 mph.

Zumaya has been getting the walks to a respectable margin, and is making a strong case for moving up to AAA, maybe Detroit, if the team falls out of the playoff picture and/or makes a deal sending a Mike Maroth or Jason Johnson away. I'm not sure if he would get a September call up if no trade is made since he is still only 20, and likely is on a pitch/inning count this year. Plus, Verlander is ahead of him, as the teams "sixth" starter. This also means that Verlander will likely make another spot start for the Tigers in two weeks, during a stretch of games with no off day, but with a double-header.

Zumaya has 107.1 innings pitched, and Verlander is at 106.1 between A, AA, and Detroit (not counting the inning for each in the futures game) I would have to think the Tigers won't let them go over 175. (Ledezma pitched 165 last year between the minors and the bigs).

Both are looking like they'll make their case for the rotation next year if the team doesn't add a free agent like AJ Burnett, or doesn't get pressured by Pudge or Mags and their big veteran salaries to pursue other veteran pitchers rather than go with Bonderman, Verlander and Zumaya none over 23 at the time with hopefully a healthy Sleeth looking over their shoulders.

Also, after Pudge claimed he sees Verlander as a closer, Baseball America put out its Future All-Star list, looking at the best prospects at each position. No, they didn't list Verlander as the top right handed starter, and didn't agree with Pudge about him being a closer, but they did pick Zumaya as a closer. I guess that's a compliment to list the guy as the best closer prospect when I'm sure there are good prospects actually closing, but they did mention that Zumaya is averaging 12 k's per 9 innings, and is lasting a solid 7 innings, and would have to fail as a starter to be a closer. So why they think he'll be a closer, i'm not sure, since they mention evidence to him not failing as a starter.


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