When Eddie Bonine was sent down to Double-A Erie immediately after Wednesday's game, you had to wonder if it might be a while before we saw that young man in a Tigers uniform again. The demotion seemed a bit harsh, but it was revealed that Bonine was sent to Erie so he could maintain his pitching schedule while the Tigers and Mud Hens were on their respective All-Star breaks. And it doesn't appear that Bonine has been exiled from Detroit's starting rotation, either.
In Jon Paul Morosi's article explaining how the Tigers are unlikely to be involved in a big trade from now until the July 31 deadline, Jim Leyland said he expected Bonine to get the call when the fifth spot in the rotation comes up on July 21.
"I think Bonine will probably be the starter," Leyland said. "Is it 100%? No. But is it likely? I would say yes."
As far as Morosi knows, the Tigers haven't talked to anyone about dealing for a starting pitcher. Even teams who have made it known they have pitching to spare, such as the San Diego Padres, haven't received a call from Detroit. Morosi goes on to speculate that the Tigers would be more likely to try for some relief pitching, and mentions the Pittsburgh Pirates as a potential trade partner. Though really, he's just trying to connect the dots, based on previous interest in John Grabow and Damaso Marte.
So what's the bigger story here? The return of Eddie Bonine or the possibility of no deals at the trade deadline? And if the Tigers do start to light up the phone lines, what would you prefer them to pursue?