Jeremy Bonderman is on his way back, eager to pitch

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Jeremy Bonderman has been out of baseball for two years thanks to (a) not finding a deal in 2011; and (b) having Tommy John surgery in April 2012. Buster Olney spoke to him however, and he’s eager to pitch in 2013.

And, while I don’t think it’s really a BSOHL story when the guy has been out of baseball so long — it’s legit and not just spin to wonder about his conditioning — Bonderman has been working hard to make it happen:

Bonderman, who just turned 30, started his workouts long before he had Tommy John surgery in April 2012. He explained over the phone Sunday that most weeks, he’s training six days out of seven, and he has cut his weight from 245 to about 210 pounds, or what he weighed as he came out of high school.

“I just want to go out and play,” he said. “I just want to go out and compete, and go out on my terms.”

He just wants a minor league deal and a big league camp invite. Which, even though he really hasn’t been healthy and effective for six years, I bet he gets.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.