Remember when Jim Leyland said this a few days ago?
"I'd say right off the top of my head, we're going to be more cautious," Leyland said. "If you see somebody pushed back a day or something like that, don't get alarmed."
So we shouldn't be alarmed that Jeremy Bonderman has been scratched from his start on Saturday, due to a stiff shoulder, right? No red flags on this one?
"There's no red flags here," Leyland said.
Alrighty then. With a longer Spring Training schedule, thanks to the World Baseball Classic, Leyland and his staff decided to hold some players back if it looked like they needed a rest. Bonderman and Joel Zumaya may as well have been highlighted in orange when Leyland revealed this plan. Sure enough, Bondo is the first, shall we say, beneficiary of this cautious approach.
Bonderman won't be sitting out entirely, however. He'll throw instead in a simulated game where coaches can monitor him closely and control his pitch count exactly. (30, if you're counting. 15 for each inning.) And if all goes according to plan, Bondo will be back on schedule in his regular rotation spot. (Though Leyland wouldn't commit to that, pending Saturday's results.)
Still, I kind of want to raise a red flag.
"But there are no red flags here," said Leyland. "This is just a precautionary measure."
Okay, okay - no flags. We're putting the flag away. You're the boss, Jimmy.
Jon Kibler, the big lefty from Michigan State, will get the start on Saturday instead.
Today's parenthetical thought (without parentheses): Wouldn't simulated games be some great mid-day programming for MLB Network during the day?
Simulated games! From 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., it's Jeremy Bonderman for the Tigers. After that, we'll have Bartolo Colon for the White Sox. Followed by Pedro Martinez, wherever he ends up. Simulated games! Kind of like real games, but simulated! Only on MLB Network!