Well I just got home from watching Bondo pitch in person at the Braves AAA affiliate here in Gwinnett, GA. Here are my observations: Bonderman threw around 80% sliders (has this always been the case?) No surprises as his change-up got thrashed two of the three times he threw it. His fastball topped out at 91, so not up to the 93-94 I’m pretty sure he can hit when he’s fully recovered. He gave up one hit through 5 that a major league OF would have caught; then he got pounded in the sixth. He gave up 5 (3 E.R.) runs but every single hitter was hitting him hard. So I’m in the camp he needs to stay down another start or two as hopefully his arm isn’t stretched out enough to throw 100 pitches yet as he finished off the night at 98. As far as the rest of Toledo (not sure anyone cares), Dlugach is fast as hell at SS and besides Hessman the rest of their top players are already in Detroit. Gwinnett threw Tommy Hanson, the Braves top prospect, and he is the entire package. He was topping out at 97 while throwing a drop-off the table curveball. It was the third time I’ve seen him give up under three hits through six innings.
OT Bondo's not ready
Thank you for the Bondo news, It's hard finding much of anything on Toledo. It's a hard life for baseball nerds.
Hopefully Bondo can make it back, but he's gotta throw his FB more if he wants to. If he doesn't, its not that huge of a loss, he's not signed for very long and the rotation is in good enough shape that they can probably get by without him.
One question though, any thoughts on Jeff Frazier? He's a little old and hasn't hit for much pop, but he is hitting well of late and I'm thinking with the crowded OF might be part of a trade later in the year. His career Minor League numbers are trending upward. Just from his numbers I can tell he doesn't have much pop at all and he's not really great at drawing walks, but he has a pretty average, and if he can field might at least draw some interest from someone, either in a Josh Anderson type deal, where its 2 teams trading mediocre players to fill needs, or as a piece to a larger trade, perhaps incentive to take Magglio's 18 million off our hands.
Ahhh, I inadvertently took a shot at Frazier in my post about Bondo without even knowing it. I remember Frazier's hit tonight because he hustled his a** off for a IF single and was extremely aggressive on the basepaths. It was also the only hit Toledo had off Hanson. And for whatever reason the Gwinnett Braves had his BAV at .000 as if he had just been called up and I remember thinking that was completely wrong. But I took a shot at him because the one hit Bondo gave up in the first five innings was a fly ball to Frazier that he turned left, right, left and misplayed awfully. So, totally a one game synopsis but maybe his defense is holding him back? I wonder if he has played the OF his whole life?
But all in all the major league level talent the Tigers have in the entire system at OF is amazing even after trading the "jewel" Maybin a few years ago. Granderson, Ordonez, Guillen, Thames, Anderson, Raburn, Thomas, Ramirez, Clevlen. Frazier has a major league stick, glove I don't know. Definitely a few trading chips...
With pitchers and OF, but everywhere else its sort of bleak...Iorg, Sizemore, and Worth are the only middle infielders I ever hear mentioned as possibilities to ever see the majors, they've got that bigger kid they signed out of Latin America last year at third, and Aviles and Ryan at catcher. I don't think any 1b of note though, unless Hessman starts aging in reverse.
It really is too bad for the draft this year, I wish some of those kids from last year were available now. That class had some nice infielders, Beckham, Smoak, Alvarez, Hosmer, Posey...Beckham again, not the same guy, obviously, just 2 unrelated Beckhams who are both incredibly talented shortstops.
I'm really looking forward to the MLB draft this year, even though I'll have to follow it online. I'm personally rooting for Donavon Tate to fall, even with all the OF depth, he's got the highest ceiling of anyone not named Strasburg, and someone is always willing to trade for OF depth.
In closing, remember the name Mauricio Robles. Next time BP comes out with the prospect lists, Mr. Robles is gonna be a top 50 player, if not top 25, and the Tigers top pitching prospect still in the minors, barring Casey Crosby turning into Tim Lincecum for the remainder of the year.
Suddenly it appears we're like the Twins or the Rays in that we have talent in the pipeline. A few (maybe more) years back it seemed no one of worth was coming up. It's good to know the present is great, the future looks good, go Tigers!
The change: hiring Dave Dombrowski a few years back. The guy knows how to find and develop talent. Everywhere he's been, he's produced a top-notch farm system.
oddly enough is Avisail Garcia. I had never heard of him til the other day and I can't remember where I read about him. This guy is 17 (well hopefully) and playing in High A ball with 20-21 year olds. Last year he was the Venezuelan Summer League Tigers Player of the Year. He would be a name that opposing teams would love to have just "thrown in" in any possible future deal.
On another note I am bummed the Sox didn't get Peavy. I loved the idea of them unloading most of their top prospects and financially strapping themselves at the same time. The way I see it is that they need to be replacing Konerko, Thome and Dye with younger core of hitters instead of dishing out 15-18 million a year to replace Contreras. Has devoting that much payroll for a pitcher ever worked out for any team outside New York and Boston? How 'bout the White Sox make a smart deal and finally get a CF?
I live in the suburbs of Toledo, (Michigan side of the state line, thank God), so I can get you updates on how a player looks pretty much whenever you like. I love to go down to the games, because for 8 or 9 bucks, 5/3rd field is just as good, if a little smaller, than many major parks.
Plus I can have Tony Packos before the game. Mmmm....
that Bondo threw sliders for the majority of his start. You don't throw a ton of sliders especially when you are coming off an arm injury. Throwing it puts more stress on your arm.
I would be willing to bet that he was throwing his 2-seam fastball, which never really got above 91mph in the first place.
if it were a traditional arm injury. But he is coming back from a blood clot in his shoulder. Not ligament? damage in his shoulder or elbow which would be further strained by throwing breaking pitches. But just about all his pitches were coming in at 83-85 and I was assessing they were sliders by how the catcher was setting up his feet pre-pitch. It actually makes more sense that he would concentrate on throwing a certain pitch due to the fact it was a rehab start and not a real game. I just wish it was his change-up (cough), lol. I'd imagine his fastball was the first pitch that came back for him.
I'm a big rick knapp fan, hopefully he can make bondos change just good enough to keep it in hitters minds.