Willis to Rejoin team (Please Exhale and don’t hold your breath)
When Jim Leyland heads to the dugout on Wednesday, prepare to see him light up a stogie. Why you ask? Because yours truly, Dontrelle Willis is returning to the rotation to take on the Minnesota Twins. I’ll be really frank and say that I am scared to death.
But maybe, just maybe…… Dontrelle Willis is back to true form (I’m holding my own breath now).
Leyland put it bluntly when sharing his expectations for Dontrelle:
"“I’ll make that perfectly clear. My expectations are for him to win games, like it is for every other pitcher that I put out there. There’s no bones about that. This is not a gimmie situation. This is the big leagues, and we’re trying to win.”“My expectations are that he will do well. I think he’s got a very good chance to do that. We will see. But I’m 100 percent behind the move to get him here and to find out. This is not a trial. This is not experimental. This is not developmental. This is the big leagues.”"
Definitely no bones(?!?) about that. This could be the final go around for Willis, who struck out 8 and walked six in two starts at AAA Toledo. In his one appearance against the Twins in 2008, Willis walked two and gave up an earned run in one inning pitched.
I’m pretty excited (I was excited in the last game of the lions season too) to see Willis take the mound. I thought when I got a chance to watch him in spring training that he surely had gained some of that control back. The key will be hitting his spots. If he can do that with decent breaking stuff, we might see him a bit longer than expected this time around.
The Bonderman Front:
According to manager Jim Leyland, The Tigers organization is close to assigning Jeremy Bonderman a rehab start. This could be key for the Tigers down the stretch of May if the starting pitching can to continue to be as good as it is. The question would be who is the last man out? Would it be Rick Porcello? Only time will tell.
Leyland on Manny:
You have to love some of Leyland’s response to things. Here is what he had to say this afternoon on Manny’s steroid test:
"“You can talk until the cows come home and I am not talking about Manny Ramirez.”"
Anderson Loves Leyland:
If you haven’t gotten the chance to do so, listen to this interview with Tigers outfielder Josh Anderson. Anderson says that Leyland is one of the best skippers of all time, Miguel Cabrera is a superior talent, and the AL Central is going to be a tough race that will come down to defense and pitching.
"“All the teams in the AL Central have hitters. It’s going to come down to good quality starting pitching and good defense. It’s going to be an absolute battle,” Anderson said. “Everybody here is ready for that. We’ve just have to try out best not to take a night off as far as mental lapses or focus.”"