Posted by Chip Stevenson in Detroit Tigers
I just came across this video of Willis pitching in Lakeland. What a disaster of a season he has had so far. After walking a thousand guys per 9 innings and hyperextending his knee, he was sent down to SINGLE A Lakeland to relearn how to play baseball. He's basically disappeared since then, and I haven't read or seen many updates on his progress at all. For all I know, he is too busy rolling in a bed full of $1 dollar bills that make up his 30+ million dollar contract he signed in the offseason to get back in shape. Still, I have read a few articles that said he was changing his motion a little bit to try to recapture the control that made him a top of the rotation starter. In the video, his trademark leg lick is way less violent and much more under control, which hopefully allows him to command the strike zone more than Dupree's girlfriend commands him.
I'm really hoping he comes back next year as a key member of the rotation. A pitching corps of Verlander, Bonderman, Galarraga, Willis and whoever Dombrowski brings in as a free agent definitely has some promise. It would be a rotation with a few question marks (Can Bonderman come back after having a rib removed? Can Galarraga continue pitching this well or is this just a fluke? And can Dontrelle throw enough strikes to stay in the big leagues?), but it would definitely have a chance to be very good... if not, dare I say, 2006-esque.
Dontrelle in '09!