Tigers option Dontrelle Willis to Lakeland

The Tigers optioned the struggling Dontrelle Willis to Lakeland. This is something that had to happen after what happened on Monday night. Willis had the right to refuse an assignment to the minors. I give him credit for swallowing some pride and doing what ultimately is best for himself and the team.

I’d guess he’s going to Lakeland rather than Toledo more due to instruction than the actual level.

Aquilino Lopez is set to return from bereavement leave and will likely assume Willis’s spot on the roster.

UPDATE: The Freep is reporting that Eddie Bonine is likely to take Willis’s spot in the rotation.


  1. Matt in Toledo

    June 10, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Jiminy christ, that was fast. Any chance the Tigers never have to play on five consecutive days the rest of the season?

  2. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 10, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Couldn’t they have given us time to debate the issue a little more? I think that’s a violation of parliamentary rules. The House Of Commons was never consulted. The House Of Lords just rammed it right through. Jeez.

  3. Chris in Dallas

    June 10, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Oh boy. I retract my prediction from the other thread. This is probably what’s best for him and the organization. And billfer is right – kudos for Dontrelle for swallowing his pride and accepting the assignment. I already respected/liked him and now I feel more of each.

  4. Mike R

    June 10, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    I don’t think he should get kudos for accepting the assignment. Pretty much any player I can think of would’ve done the same, save for maybe Sidney Ponson.

    Quick move, though.

  5. jeremy

    June 10, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    I just heard Eddie Bonine is up from Toledo. This is really the Mudhens now.

  6. Chris in Dallas

    June 10, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Speaking of Sir Sidney – if the Tigers sign him I will be forced to commit ritual suicide. Just a warning. Although he would probably last less than 24 hours in the clubhouse before Sheffield took a Louisville Slugger to his skull, so that could be fun…

  7. Mark in Chicago

    June 10, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    And to think some idiot predicted they would call up Porcello to take Dontrelle’s spot.


    (How could I not see the Eddie Bonine alternative! Oh, to retract that silly prediction!)

    It still could happen though. Just like the Tigers being above .500 by month-end which some other jerk-wad predicted. What is that guy’s deal?!?!

  8. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 10, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    Don’t worry, Mark, that guy you mention is long gone. Someone like that would never dare show their face here again.

  9. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 10, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Because everyone here knows everything, and no one here is ever wrong.

    Until later.

  10. Mark in Chicago

    June 10, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Good point, Sean. I feel better now. I mean — he must feel better now.

  11. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 10, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Yes. Wherever he is. Poor sod.

  12. Chris in Dallas

    June 10, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Can we now start calling them Eddie & the Cruisers? Just once, please…

  13. Mark in Chicago

    June 10, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    For anybody wondering, I looked up Eddie Bonine’s career minor league numbers:

    he allows over a hit per inning (684h in 627ip) but a decent career WHIP of 1.35, as he doesn’t walk many. He doesn’t strike out a ton, but it’s decent at 6.5 per 9ip.

    He does a good job of keeping the ball in the park, only 45hr in those 627ip, so I’m guessing he’s a sinker-baller type (who knows how effective he’ll be with our infield defense).

    He seems like exactly a replacement-level player, which at this point is an upgrade over Willis.

  14. Mike R

    June 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Basically Eddie Bonine pretty much falls in line with the Aquilino Lopez/Jordan Tata/Virgil Vazquez of the world. Roster filler, can be used in a pinch but is not a long term solution.

  15. Eric Cioe

    June 10, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    The selfish part of me wants to see the Tigers throw about 1 million dollars at Boomer to finish out the year. Man, that’d be fun to watch him pitch here again.

  16. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 10, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    Add what’s gone on with Willis to the long list of 2008 Detroit Tigers weirdness. This latest move is baffling in conjunction with the rest of it.

    Has someone been pressuring Leyland to have him in the rotation? I keep thinking of Leyland’s statement “They’ve given me a pretty good team here.” Sounds like something a guy might say after a meeting with his boss that was more than coffee and donuts.

  17. Steve in Kzoo

    June 10, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Well I think Ive been saying this for a long while, I think for the ’08 Tigers w/ Bonine will be fine I just hope his first ML start isn’t the Virgil Vasquez start from Last year lol. I think he’ll be a fine #5 filler. Cant be much worse then him (tata, vasquez?).

    The Willis to A ball was an interesting move and surprising to me(I thought Erie) but makes sense from instructional viewpoint and media haters out there. Good luck to D Train hopefully he makes a recovery like Lee did for Cleveland last year.

  18. joe buck

    June 10, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    Get it together willie hope to see you back in the D

  19. JoJo Sun Devil

    June 11, 2008 at 1:26 am

    We need you Dontrelle! We called up Ernest Borgnine? Isn’t he a little old?

  20. Deaner

    June 11, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Oral Hershiser was tearing apart his mechanics during the ESPN telecast… something needed to be done.

  21. jim-mt

    June 11, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Maybe they should teach Dontrelle a new pitch-that might get his mind off his old ones. His herky-jerky motion works for a while, but not good for long term and hard to fix. Like my golf swing!

  22. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 11, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    “Maybe they should teach Dontrelle a new pitch”

    I recommend the “Strike.” It seems to work for a lot of pitchers.

  23. tiff

    June 11, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    I wouldn’t mind the tigs becoming the mudhens for awhile, as they are 10 games OVER instead of under.

  24. Slashpyne

    June 11, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Sean C,
    This “strike” of which you speak sounds intriguing…
    Could you describe it? I’m quite sure the Tigers pitchers have not heard of it, and it might be helpful to them to learn of it.

  25. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 11, 2008 at 2:56 pm


    Well, I’m a Tigers fan, don’t pay much attention to other teams, so I don’t know too much about it. There’s some other mystical term attached to it – “zone,” I think. When I find out more, perhaps as soon as this evening, I’ll post something on it.

  26. Sean C. in Illinois

    June 11, 2008 at 2:57 pm


    Yeah, but the Mud Hens don’t have to play the Royals.

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