It’s been a couple weeks since Dontrelle Willis came off the disabled list. He’s made all of one appearance. That will change this week when he splits a start with splits a start with Armando Galarraga.
Willis will pitch the first 4 to 5 innings and Galarraga will pitch the rest. It’s an unorthodox move to be sure.
The fact of the matter is Willis can’t not pitch for the team. To consider Willis a sunk cost 6 innings into a 3 year deal is wildly premature so they have to find a way to work him in. At the same time he needs to work on his control issues and only so much can be accomplished in side sessions. This gives him a chance at an extended outing.
“Willis is not taking Galarraga’s place as we speak,” Leyland said. “I’m just trying to figure out a way to get him out there (and) how we need to use him if he eventually is going to move back into the rotation permanently.”
This does effectively reduce the bullpen by a pitcher (which can probably be done regardless). It also means that the Tigers are only carrying one lefty in the pen in the form of Bobby Seay.