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06/12/08 12:02 PM ET

Bonine set to start on Saturday

Right-hander will make Major League debut for Tigers

DETROIT -- The Tigers have decided on a starting pitcher for Saturday. Triple-A Toledo standout right-hander Eddie Bonine will start the second game of a three-game series with the Dodgers on a FOX regional television broadcast.

The team considered starting current Tigers relievers Zach Miner or Casey Fossum, but in the end, Detroit couldn't ignore Bonine's 24-7 record over the past two years.

"If you don't give a guy like that a chance," manager Jim Leyland said, "then who do you give a chance to? So we're going to give him a chance."

Bonine, not a hard thrower but one who excels at inducing ground balls, has a 9-2 record and a 4.48 ERA this season for Toledo. He went 14-5 at Double-A Erie and won his only Toledo start last season.

"He's got a good breaking ball, and he's got great control," Leyland said. "Not an overpowering guy. A strike-thrower. Evidently, he's a winner."

Leyland said earlier this week that whomever the Tigers choose for the rotation spot will get several starts to prove himself.

The spot opened on Tuesday after the Tigers sent left-hander Dontrelle Willis to Class A Lakeland to work on his severe control issues. He walked 21 batters in 11 1/3 innings this season.

Scott McNeish is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.