TigsTown: So are you excited about the 2009 season?
Eddie Bonine: Oh for sure, I'm just real excited to get going again. I learned a lot last season, and so now I just want to try and build on some of the things that i learned last year.
TT: What is your goal heading into spring training?
EB: Get guys out. I don't try to set too many goals for myself, I just think if you get too goal oriented you'll be looking too much into the future and not at what you need to be doing right then. Obviously I want to prove that last year wasn't a fluke and the year before wasn't a fluke and I just want to continue to get guys out as well as become more consistent with some of the pitches that I throw.
TT: What have you done this past offseason to get there?
EB: I've been working out in Arizona at a sports complex in Peoria - there's a group of 4 or 5 of us that work out every day. I feel like I'm in great shape, my arm is healthy, and I'm in as good of a position as I can be. I feel like I'm in a great spot for my first big league camp. Obviously there are lots of questions about who is gonna be in Detroit, who is gonna be in Toledo, so I've just gotta go out there and pitch the best I can, and hopefully that means helping out in Detroit either to start the season or if not right out of camp hopefully early on in the season.
TT: You mentioned your arm feels good - how's the shoulder feeling?
EB: Shoulder's great. It was really a freak thing, it was a muscle strain in my shoulder that isn't very common. It was just one of those deals where it got kinda tight, just one of those deals where its kind of like a pulled hamstring for a runner - very tough for a pitcher to come back quickly. One of those muscles that couldn't do a whole lot, just needed to let it be. And the rest healed it, didn't need any physical therapy, continued on strength program, and there are no lingering effects.
TT: Moving back to now, recently you were removed from the Tigers 40 man roster - how did you hear about that?
EB: Organization was great about it - came to me, let me know that "Hey, we're looking to make a roster move and potentially signing someone, so we might need that roster spot". They informed myself and my agent, explained that they could either trade me in the first seven days, and then the last 3 days I get placed on waivers where another team can claim me. After those 10 days, no one had claimed me, so they were real excited that I was gonna be around.
TT: As the process was moving along, were you hearing much about it, or was it handled mostly by your agent and the organization?
EB: Like I said, they were great about it. It's one of those situations where you don't wanna go through it, but they definitely expressed that they wanted me around and were excited to be keeping me. I'm not the type where I'm gonna dwell on too many negatives, it's just a part of the game. Over the years, many guys have been out-righted - it's just one of those things that is outside of my control, so I'm just gonna keep trying to go out there and get guys out and let the rest work itself out.
TT: You made your big league debut last season - tell me a little about that.
EB: It was amazing - everything about it, the guys the atmosphere, family, just a really cool experience. And I got all those 'first's out of the the way, now I can focus on learning from some of those mistakes, like slowing the game down, analyzing what I did well and what I did bad so now i can take all of that and use it to get better.
TT: Now that you've reached the big leagues, what's your goal for the 2009 season and where do you think you'll start out?
EB: A lot of those things are out there as possibilities - I'd love to be in the rotation on Opening Day - I'm a competitor and I wanna play at that level. As far as the organization I just need to not give them a reason to not have me on the team. I'm just in control of pitching - I'd love to be there, either in the rotation or even in the bullpen, but if I go to Toledo, that's a great place too. Toledo has a great group of guys, and I'm just excited to get started!
TigsTown would like to thank Eddie for taking the time to talk to us, and wishes him well for the 2009 season!