Seattle Mariners' Jeremy Bonderman Gets Rude Welcome In Return To MLB

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to the bigs, Jeremy Bonderman.

Now, as far as how long he might actually stick around … well, that’s another story. Donning a Seattle Mariners uniform after signing a minor league contract in the offseason, Bonderman made his first MLB start in over two and a half years on Sunday — and looked like a pitcher who hasn’t taken on big league hitters since 2010.

Though his comeback from injuries has been remarkable, the performance over the weekend against the Minnesota Twins was anything but.

After a relatively uneventful three-up, three-down first inning, Ryan Doumit greeted Bonderman with a homer to lead off the bottom of the second, kick-starting a mess of an inning that saw the righty give up a whopping three doubles, and allowing the first three runs of his 2013 season.

By the time M’s manager Eric Wedge mercifully came out to remove his starter from the game with two outs in the fifth, the 30-year-old had not just been hit, but he’d be hit really, really hard — to the tune of seven runs on three home runs, three doubles, and a triple.

Yes, that is to say that seven of the nine hits that Bonderman allowed was of the extra-bases variety. The way he was throwing would have made folks tossing pitching practice jealous.

Not that it’s all totally doom-and-gloom for the Mariners, though. If you ignored the results (and they had good reason to, given the circumstances) on the scoreboard, there were some cup-half-full-isms that can be taken away out of this outing.

For one, the veteran did throw 87 pitches, with his fastball topping out at 92 mph right up to the end of the fourth inning. Moreorver, he threw 53 of his pitches for strikes (a 60.9 percent rate) and walked just one batter, so it’s not as though wildness was an issue.

As for the leaving-meatballs-in-the-heart-of-the-plate issue, on the other hand … let’s just say that some adjustments will have to be made if Bonderman wants this comeback story to last a little while longer.