According to Andy McCullough of The Star-Ledger, Boof Bonser, the former Minnesota Twins prospect and current Mets minor league pitcher, has decided to undergo Tommy John surgery. The pitcher had been vying for a spot in the Mets rotation and/or bullpen during Spring Training, but was optioned to Triple-A after losing out to a variety of other options. Bonser only pitched 3.6 innings in his first start before leaving the game with an apparent injury in the 4th inning. The right-hander is expected to miss the entire season, and it is unknown if it will be a career-ender.
Bonser was originally drafted by the San Francisco Giants with the 21st overall pick in the 2000 draft, but is more famously known for being involved in the incredibly lopsided trade that brought him, Francisco Liriano, and Joe Nathan to the Minnesota Twins for A.J. Pierzynski.
In 2006, Bonser’s major league debut season, he posted an impressive 4.22 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 84 K’s, 7 wins, and 2.15 BB/IP in 100.3 IP. However, he couldn’t duplicate his rookie success over his next two seasons with the Twins, recording a dismal 5.44 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, and just 11 wins in multiple pitching roles. Despite his growing pains, he still managed to post a respectable 7.19 K/IP and 3.12 BB/IP.
Unfortunately, Bonser endured season-ending torn labrum and rotator cuff surgery in early 2009, knocking him out for the entire 2009 season. The right-hander bounced back in 2010 as a full-time reliever, splitting the season between the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics. While Bonser’s 2 innings for the Red Sox weren’t memorable, he did post a 5.09 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 17 K’s, and just 6 BB in 23 relief innings for the A’s. It should also be noted that in the month of August, he posted a 2.38 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 8 K’s, and 2 BB’s in 11.1 IP.
Now at age 29 and facing an uphill battle, there’s a good chance Bonser’s chances have run dry. Hopefully the pitcher will make a full recovery, and bounce back in 2012 or 2013.