M's Jeremy Bonderman optimistic after comeback attempt
Mariners Jeremy Bonderman, a veteran from Pasco, gives up a three-run homer
Seattle Times staff reporter
PEORIA, Ariz. — It took nearly three years for Pasco product Jeremy Bonderman to get back on a mound.
And now that he's there, the Mariners' nonroster invitee has no intention of leaving any time soon. Bonderman got roughed up for a three-run homer by Hank Conger on Monday in his lone inning of work against the Los Angeles Angels.
But after his first Cactus League outing, in a game the Mariners came back to win 9-8 with five runs the final two innings, Bonderman said he figured he'll improve as camp progresses.
"It's definitely not the results I was looking for my first time out," he said. "But I'm going to keep working, put my time in and get better."
Bonderman, 30, threw mostly fastballs, but had trouble getting a handful of breaking balls over. He missed on a couple in walking Peter Bourjos, then threw a 1-1 slider that Conger ripped over the right-field fence.
"That's something you expect to come a little bit later," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "Usually, it's the secondary stuff, in particular the breaking pitches, that are more of a feel and a slot. But overall, I was really happy with what we saw."
Bonderman was feeling burned out from all his arm injuries when he walked away from baseball following his 2010 season with the Detroit Tigers. But he insists he's committed to seeing this comeback through the entirety of camp, no matter how many setbacks are encountered.
"When I decided to come back, it wasn't just 'Oh, I'm going to give it a shot,' " Bonderman said. "I worked hard and I put my time in every day. I'm down here for the long haul. I came down here to see what I can do. If at the end of camp, they tell me, 'We don't need you,' then I'll go home."
Bonderman is competing this spring with fellow nonroster invitee Jon Garland — who looked better in a live batting practice session Monday than he had previously — as well as Blake Beavan, Erasmo Ramirez and several minor-leaguers for a spot at the back of the rotation.
Bonderman's wife, Amber, and 3-year-old son, Tripp, flew down Sunday night to attend his outing.
"It's the first time he's really seen me pitch," Bonderman said. "He was an infant the last time. So, it's kind of fun just to have him down here."
• Mariners pitching prospect Brandon Maurer continued to impress Monday, tossing an inning of one-hit ball. Maurer, 22, was Seattle's most improved minor-leaguer last season with Class AA Jackson — going 9-2 with a 3.20 earned-run average in 24 starts — and is considered the most likely of any of the team's young minor-leaguers to crack the rotation out of spring training. He began his outing with a strikeout, yielded an infield single, then notched a double-play grounder, touching 95 mph with his fastball. "He's been impressive all camp," Wedge said. "He was very impressive last year for us in the minor leagues and I think he's got everybody's attention right now."
• Brendan Ryan hit a solo home run in the third inning in his first Cactus League game. Dustin Ackley showed his speed by legging out a triple in his first spring game since undergoing surgery last October to remove bone spurs from his ankle.
• Justin Smoak had a double and a single from the left side of the plate, where he struggled last year.
• Alex Liddi hit a mammoth, two-run homer to left field in the sixth inning.
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|An.Romn ss||2||0||1||1||B.Miller 2b||2||0||0||0|
|Aybar ss||2||1||0||0||C.Wells cf||3||0||0||0|
|Shuck ph-lf||1||0||0||0||F.Martinez cf||2||2||2||0|
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|L.Rdrgez 2b||3||0||1||0||Ryan ss||2||1||1||1|
|Cowart 3b||2||1||1||0||Triunfel ss||2||0||0||0|
|Los Angeles||300 130 010||—||8|
|Seattle||011 000 241||—||9|
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