By John Boyle Herald Writer
SEATTLE — Jeremy Bonderman’s comeback story was rather remarkable. It also turned out to be short-lived.
Bonderman, who is from Pasco, saw his once-promising career derailed by injuries, and before being called up by the Mariners in June, had not pitched in the Major Leagues since 2010.
On Monday, the Mariners designated Bonderman for assignment, meaning they have 10 days to release Bonderman, trade him, or outright his contract to the minors.
The decision to remove Bonderman from the big league club after seven starts had less to do with his struggles, manager Eric Wedge said, than it did the pitcher who will replace him in the rotation starting with Thursday’s game against Boston.
“It’s really more about who’s coming versus (Bonderman’s performance),” Wedge said. “When you talk about Bondo, you’ve got to really appreciate his effort and what he’s done to get back to where he is. But we still feel like there’s some more work to do there, and again, it’s more about who we’re bringing up.
Just don’t ask Wedge who that pitcher is that they’re bringing up, because he isn’t ready to say just yet.
“We know who it’s going to be,” he said. “Nothing I can release right now, but we’ll obviously have to make that move before Thursday.”
Wedge confirmed that Thursday’s starter will come from Triple-A Tacoma, which makes it seem quite likely that Erasmo Ramirez will get the call. Ramirez, who started eight games last season, was likely going to win a starting job this year before an elbow injury sidelined him during spring training. Ramirez, who last pitched for Tacoma Friday, is 3-3 with a 3.09 ERA in seven starts with the Rainiers.
Bonderman went 1-3 with a 4.93 earned-run average in seven starts with the Mariners. He had a nice stretch in mid-June, posting a 1-0 record and a 1.42 ERA over four starts, but was 0-2 in his past two starts with a 10.80 ERA.
Leutge’s good fortune
While Ramirez appears to be Bonderman’s replacement in the rotation, reliever Lucas Luetge was the player called up Monday to fill out the roster. The call-up comes three days after Luetge opened a fortune cookie following dinner at P.F. Chang’s that read, “Next Monday will be a lucky day for you.”
Luetge, who still had the fortune in his locker—“I always save the good ones,” he explained—didn’t tell anyone about the cookie’s prediction, then on Sunday night he got the call confirming that the fortune was accurate.
Relief pitcher Stephen Pryor, who has been sidelined with a torn lat since April, threw on Monday and is scheduled to pitch a simulated game Wednesday. That game will also give Franklin Gutierrez and Michael Morse a chance to test out their injuries.
“We’re going to have a simulated game with Prior on Wednesday, so Gut will hit and Morse will hit, and Morse will run the bases,” Wedge said. “With both Franklin and Michael, let’s see where they are towards the middle of the week and go from there.”