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Bondo Can't Escape the Tigers' Shoulder Curse

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Danny Knobler has moved on to a shiny new national gig at, but he's still keeping an eye on his old Detroit Tigers beat. And it appears that he may have beaten some of his former colleagues to a scoop. Knobler reports that Jeremy Bonderman had complained of "discomfort around his right shoulder," and was examined by doctors yesterday.

The Tigers weren't sure what's wrong, but two club sources said he would be checked for a possible circulation problem in the shoulder. The Tigers made no announcement before or after tonight's game against Cleveland, but Bonderman isn't expected to make his scheduled start Sunday, and will likely be placed on the disabled list.

I hate to use a cliche (and I can see some of my old writing instructors reaching for their red pens), but when it rains, it really pours, doesn't it? This season was already going badly for the Tigers, and more bad news keeps coming their way.

As Billfer mentioned at The Detroit Tigers Weblog (and he was the first to post something on this development), Bonderman's velocity has been down lately, and shoulder problems would definitely have something to do with that. It's oversimplifying, but if a pitcher is having troubles with his velocity, it often points to a shoulder issue, while difficulties with location usually highlight elbow problems.

This obviously isn't good news, but at least it might provide an explanation for Bonderman's struggles this season (3-4, 4.29, 44 strikeouts in 71 1/3 innings). And unlike last year, when Bondo tried to tough it out and kept his elbow pain to himself until it became too much to bear, maybe addressing this shoulder pain now will enable him to pitch stronger and healthier in the months to come.

Placing Bonderman on the disabled list will likely become official tomorrow, after he misses his scheduled start. No word yet as to who will take his place, but Dontrelle Willis looks to get the nod.

Bondo becomes the latest Tiger to succumb to shoulder injuries, joining what seems like half of the team. The line from the trainer's room extends out the door. Zumaya, Rodney, Sheffield, Rapada, Bautista, Santiago - even Hollimon. Is there anyone who hasn't dealt with some sort of shoulder problem this season?