Justin Verlander said the throws have life on them, more than he saw last year. He talked about making adjustments, going back to the basics. He's really excited about the progress.
He wasn't talking about himself. He was talking about Jeremy Bonderman.
It's the kind of talk the Tigers need to translate into results if they're going to have a complete rotation, or if Bonderman is going to turn the corner in his contract year.
So far, so good.
"We play catch together most of the time, and he's got a lot of life on the ball," Verlander said last week. "And that's something that I hadn't seen over the last year or so. I'm really excited about where he's headed."
Bonderman will be a free agent at the end of the 2010 season and if he puts together a solid 2010 season, he could become one of the most interesting free agents on the market. Even though Bonderman has missed most of the past two seasons because of injuries, Bonderman will only be 28 years old after this season. Sure, the list of 2011 free agent starting pitchers is deep (Webb, Beckett, etc.), but Bonderman could become a cheaper alternative to those guys given his age and upside.