Yesterday, we learned that Boof Bonser has been scheduled to undergo another MRI on his ailing right shoulder. Tests taken a couple months ago reportedly revealed no structural damage, but Bonser has struggled to throw the baseball this offseason and saw no improvement in a throwing session on Wednesday.
The team seems to think this is just a bad case of tendonitis that will eventually go away, but Bonser’s words haven’t struck me as particularly optimistic. In a La Velle E. Neal III report published earlier this week, the right-hander was quoted as saying, “It was bothering me. I started playing catch and throwing off the mound (after the New Year) and I really couldn’t do it. So we stretched it out and finally got the cortisone shot. Here I am right now.” … “Here I am right now”? Does that sound like a guy who is confident he’s on the verge of putting these issues behind him and getting to work?
If Bonser’s upcoming MRI reveals something more serious than a case of tendonitis, it will likely lead to a a stint on the disabled list at the beginning of the season. That’s unfortunate, because Bonser showed some promising flashes late in the 2008 season after moving into the bullpen, and he has the stuff to become a force as a reliever. However, the Twins can’t really be counting on Bonser for much considering he finished last season with an ugly 5.93 ERA. Plus, Bonser opening the season on the DL would potentially relieve the Twins of some headaches when it comes to constructing a bullpen, as they’d be able to bring Jose Mijares north as a second left-hander without the risk of losing either Bonser or Philip Humber.
I’m hopeful that Bonser’s shoulder issues don’t turn out to be anything particularly serious, and I could easily see him stepping up as a key contributor in the bullpen this year. With that said, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if he were to open the season on the DL, allowing the team some extra time to sort out the bullpen situation.