Bonderman wants back in on Detroit's power play

Updated: February 12, 2010, 10:48 AM ET
By Buster Olney
Almost two years have passed since Jeremy Bonderman could feel like he was really a part of what the Tigers were trying to accomplish, a part of the clubhouse. If you're hurt and on the disabled list and unable to pitch, you keep your locker, but you can't be really engrained in what the team is doing. Either you're helping to haul the team or you're not; there is no in between.

"Honestly, the last two years have been rough," Bonderman said Thursday evening.

"Emotionally. Physically. I miss the ups and downs. I miss talking to the guys; I miss the competitiveness. I miss being around so that the other guys are making fun of you and you're making fun of them."

But Bonderman soon will have that opportunity again -- he was speaking from Florida, where he will have another bullpen session Friday. And so far, he has felt terrific. The physical problems that plagued him are, for now, just a part of his past.

"I'm good," he said. "I don't have any pain."

Bonderman was 20 years old when he made his first major league start, so his presence has been seemingly ubiquitous for a long time. Speaking about the rest of the Detroit team, he referred to "young guys" -- and then caught himself, realizing that at age 27, he, too, is a young guy, not that much older than Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, two of the other power arms in the Tigers' rotation.

"We have an opportunity to be good," Bonderman said.

He believes he can be a part of that, with the help of an adjustment he has made this winter.