This has to stop now

by billfer on June 14, 2009 · 73 comments

in 2009 Season,Roster Management

Dontrelle Willis came into action today with yet another chance to solidify his spot in the rotation and on the roster. He did neither today and his time on the Tigers roster has to have come to an end. This isn’t brilliant thinking by any means, and it’s late, but it’s time.

Today’s effort included 8 walks in 3.2 innings, 4 of those were to the leadoff hitter in each inning. He also allowed 6 hits and a lot of loud outs. That he was only charged with 6 runs was a matter of luck and not grittiness or some ability to bounce back. Sadly this carnage was a continuation of a pattern rather than a blip.

Whether this is anxiety or mechanics or another injury, Willis is not an effective big league pitcher. The Tigers have been patient, as they needed to be due to the contract. But he can’t be allowed to hurt this team anymore. He needs to be off the roster now. I don’t care if he gets optioned to the minors or outright released but he can’t be allowed to pitch for this team any longer.

I wish Willis the best of luck. He seems to be universally loved by players, media, and fans. The way he has handled his adversity the last 2 years is a testament to the type of individual he is. But if he is on the roster after today’s debacle it is nothing more than a charity case.

UPDATE: No moves have been announced and with an offday tomorrow they have some time to make a decision. In the meantime Jason Beck has blogged Dontrelle’s reaction to the start. I encourage everyone to check it out.

 
 

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wyrmer June 14, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Am I the only person who honestly thinks we should make him into an outfielder like Rick Ankiel 2.0? Is it that practical, maybe not. But we might as well do something with him while we have him under contract and I doubt any team wants him pitching for them.

Joel in Seattle June 14, 2009 at 9:43 pm

You’re not. I proposed that after the last outing. It can’t be worse than his pitching, and they’re paying him either way. He seems like the kind of guy that would be amenable to trying it.

Kurt June 14, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Bill — it’s sad. It’s painful to watch him out there. But the team has no choice. He is just awful. I wish it wasn’t the case, but it is. He is not a major league pitcher.

wyrmer — it took years for Ankiel to be able to work all the way up to becoming a professional outfielder. Willis hits well for a pitcher, but he doesn’t hit so well as to compel that.

wyrmer June 14, 2009 at 6:22 pm

It did take Ankiel years, but Willis is 3 years younger. Ankiel’s last season batting as a pitcher: .250/.292/.382

Willis’ last year batting as a pitcher: .286/.348/.508

Would you rather Willis pitching for the Tigers or batting for Lakeland?

Mike R June 14, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Neither. I’d rather have him out of the organization, eat that contract, and have that spot in Lakeland for some who’s future with the organization is actually valuable.

Chris Y. June 14, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Amen.

Thanks for conveying the feelings of most (if not all) Tigers fans.

Time for Dontrelle to go.

Jerry June 14, 2009 at 3:57 pm

It is quite unfortunate what has happened to Dontrelle, but Billfer is right, there comes a time when a team has to cut their losses and move on. Unfortunately, he is not the only pitcher they need to do this with who has an absurdly high contract. I think it may be time to move Miner back into the rotation in Dontrelle’s spot, give Nate the old heave-ho, and bring up a couple of the kids from Toledo or Erie (French, Ni, etc). Its a lot of money to swallow, I know. Could it also be time to contact some of those veterans who are still free agents and see who has some mileage left on them? This is supposedly a playoff team and we need something behind Justin, Edwin, and Rick.
My .02

Matt June 14, 2009 at 4:00 pm

The reason Willis was given such a long leash is because there’s no one waiting in the wings to take his spot.

I agree that it’s time to remove Willis from the starting rotation, but I doubt things will get much better when Miner or whoever they select is making regular starts.

Miner is decent, but he’s going to give up runs. And with the Tiger’s weak offensive production, they won’t be able to get many wins with Miner on the mound.

Chris Y. June 14, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Just what pitcher (esp. 4/5 starter) isn’t going to “give up runs”? The difference between Willis and Miner (or nearly anybody else) is keeping us in the ballgame. Billfer correctly points out that Willis should have been clobbered today, and surrendered far more than 6. The same could be said for nearly every start other than his first of 09.

Take a look at Miner’s career numbers:

303.2 IP; 118 BB; 184 K; 21 W; 16 L; 1.44 WHIP; 4.27 ERA

Far better than Willis’ numbers since joining the Tigers:

57.2 IP; 63 BB; 35K; 1 W; 6L; 2.10 WHIP; 8.68 ERA

Miner would be a league-average 4/5 starter. Willis is done.

Chris in Dallas June 14, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Agree 150%

Kurt June 14, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Matt — To be honest, I don’t think it’s possible for things to get a lot worse than Willis. Miner has been an effective 4/5 starter in his career. He’s not real great, but he’s a step up for sure.

Chris in Dallas June 14, 2009 at 4:21 pm

I’d be willing to go out on a limb and say that Willis is the worst pitcher in baseball right now. He’s just really, really awful. Either Robertson or Miner would be upgrades. Considering neither of them is really great shakes right now, that says alot about Dontrelle. Weird rotation; 1-3 are probably the best 1-3 in the league, and # 4 and 5 are probably the worst 4 and 5 in the league. Talk about polar opposites…

stephen June 14, 2009 at 4:29 pm

As a Tiger, Willis has allowed 100 baserunners in 57 innings. The good news he has an approximate 16m(!) still coming his way as a parting gift. We’re gonna pay him 30m for one win. On top of eating Sheffield’s 14 m, this is harkening back to the bad old days of Higginson getting almost 9m for 1 rbi in 2005. But at least Higginson had given the best years of his baseball life to awful teams.

I’m not down on Dombrowski, he got Edwin for nothing and oversaw the drafting of Porcello and dozens of other good moves, but his mistakes, Sheff, Willis, Renteria, Robertson etc, have been epic! I know other big market GM’s have made whoppers of mistakes (Cashman, Pavano) (Minaya, Castillo) but the Tigers have such a smaller margin of error.

cib June 14, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Oy. I agree with you Billfer, and I also agree with Kurt that it’s sad to see. If you really love baseball it’s sad to see any player on any team just suddenly lose their ability to play at the necessary level. Put me on the list of those who thinks that Miner should be tried out on the next start.
I really hate Pittsburgh right about now.

Chris June 14, 2009 at 4:59 pm

I would give him just one more start. And if it does not show any possibility of drastic improvement, then he should be released. I then I would give the starting job to Zack Miner.

Joel in Seattle June 14, 2009 at 9:46 pm

If you can’t do it against the Pirates, you can’t do it against anyone. Stick a fork in him.

Birdy June 14, 2009 at 5:06 pm

I came to the site to post something about Willis in what I assumed would be the gameday thread. But I see Billfer has already handled it, probably one of the reasons I like this blog. I agree Willis needs to be off the team. He seems to still have the physical tools, so I suppose I’d be willing to continue to work with him if he’ll accept a demotion to the minors. I don’t know where he’d go, who would want him, or most importantly, who could help him. When he pitches 5-6 dominating games in a row, bring him back. If that never happens and he’s hurting his team and taking the spot of someone who could be developing into a major leaguer, then goodbye.
I feel pretty much the same way about Robertson.

Mat June 14, 2009 at 5:10 pm

It’s hard if not impossible to argue that Robertson, Minor, or even a Mud Hen like French or Bonine can produce at least as well as Willis has the last few weeks. He has not been effective and this is indisputable.

But lets fast forward a minute to September. Beyond Verlander and Jacskon, who is your #3 starter if you squeak into the playoffs? Porcello will have capped out his innings pitch. Bonderman and Galarraga are complete wildcards. None of the other proposed replacements for Willis have the kind of ability and talent you want out of a playoff starter.

Willis remains a talent with a great arm and a great attitude. The Tigers have to support him, because as unlikely as it appears, he’s your best hope for having a 3rd starter who can dominate a playoff game. The Tigers need him to get right if they’re going to be a title contender.

Yes, you have to get to the playoffs before you can win them. And at some point you just cut your losses. But the team has little alternative to being patient.

Brian P June 14, 2009 at 5:26 pm

I highly doubt Porcello would be shut-down for the playoffs, assuming we win the division. It’s only another 6-20 innings.

They Rays made it to the World Series with Andy Sonnanstine, who was far from spectacular in the regular season. 4.38 ERA, of which we would hope from Miner.

No rotation has four top starters.

Mat June 14, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Porcello will probably be shut down well before the playoffs. The Rays had Jackson (our #2) as a #3 behind Kazmir and Shields. It is possible to get to the world series with out a legit#3 but its very unusual.

Brian P June 14, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Porcello is on pace to throw 2,670 pitches. For comparison, Sabathia threw 3,132 in his 20-year-old rookie season. Sabathia didn’t have that much more minor league experience. As long as Porcello’s pace continues, I think the only thing dictating his shut-down should be the division standings.

Brian June 14, 2009 at 5:53 pm

Jackson didn’t start a game for them in the playoffs. He was their #5 starter when it mattered. They went with Kazmir, Shields, Garza and Sonnanstine.

David June 14, 2009 at 5:59 pm

no he won’t be shut down

Mat June 14, 2009 at 6:52 pm

True, Garza was the real #3. I’d be happy with that level of ability for this team, but don’t see it. I’m well aware there are many examples of pitchers getting used more heavily, but everything I’ve read about Porcello says the Tigers plan to limit and protect him.

David June 14, 2009 at 10:07 pm

which is what they have been doing, in an excellent manner

by utilizing pitch counts/ innings/game / stress level and probably several other factors

he usually goes between 5-7 innings if he is effective

they won’t shut him down – they are just not letting him go as deep into games as JV or Jackson – even if he is dominating

Brian P June 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Hear, hear. No other team has to witness this “carnage” every 4th and 5th game. We just need two pitchers who can hover their ERAs around 4.5. Miner is one, so we just have to find one more. I don’t care who it is. That shouldn’t be impossible.

stephen June 14, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Mat, while I appreciate your well-reasoned argument, I don’t think I’ve ever disagreed more with a post. Is it possible Willis could right himself? Sure, it’s possible like it was technically possible that McCain would beat Obama in late October. (Not making a partisan statement, just offering a comparison). This isn’t an NFL team where you have a large roster and a five man inactive list or even the NBA where you dress twelve but have fifteen under contract. I wouldn’t be opposed if Willis accepts a demotion to AAA, but it’s really hard to see how he turns it around enough to be trusted this season in any capacity.

Mat June 14, 2009 at 5:40 pm

I agree that its unlikely. I just don’t see a more likely alternative.

Jeff Molby June 14, 2009 at 9:07 pm

I have to agree with Mat.

Even if we win this weak division, we’re not going to make any meaningful playoff run without three starters. Porcello pitched like 80 innings last year. It’s ridiculous to think he can throw 200+ this year. That’s not a realistic Sep/Oct option. Ilitch is probably already bleeding money, so we’re probably not going to be deadline buyers. Figaro is the only one posting decent numbers in the minors, so any rookies are a crapshoot at best.

The only realistic way that we can make a run this year is if Dontrelle (or Bondo) does something unexpected.

If we want to make a WS run, we have to find a way to make Dontrelle right. I don’t care what it is, but giving up on him completely is a bad idea. My two cents say we should let him pitch in the majors as long as practical. If it’s mental, he needs to know that we’re standing by him.

Leyland’s mantra is that he wants “talent” and he’s right about that. Dontrelle is significantly more talented than anyone else that might take his place. Yes, he’s more likely to be a disaster, but there’s nothing to be gained by taking the “safe” route. I don’t care about the route that’s a sure bet to 85 wins. If you can’t get to 88-92, nothing else matters. You gotta plot a course that gives you the best chance of getting there.

Keith (Mr. X) June 14, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Wills needs to go. I wish him success where ever he goes, just hope it’s not against us.

The NY Yankees are in about the same boat with Wang. He has a 21.61 ERA when used as a starter.

David June 14, 2009 at 6:02 pm

I can tell you what the rotation would be going into Saint Louis if I were managing

Justin Verlander
Edwin Jackson
Rick Porcello
Zack Miner

and duh duh duh da

Joel Zumaya

Mike R June 14, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Joel Zumaya can’t stay healthy in the bullpen, let alone trying to stretch his terrible mechanics out over multiple innings. Nevermind the fact that he’s abandoned his change-up the last 3 years.

David June 14, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Mark my words…

I think it would force him to become a different type of pitcher – one that goes after outs vs strikeouts. It would also take a lot less wear off that arm – that he tries to blow out every other day.

It would improve his health long term IMO. And right now they might need him in the rotation more than they do the pen with Perry back.

Coleman June 14, 2009 at 10:34 pm

I’m sure you’re right about the physical adjustment; for whatever reason there seems to be a starter mindset and a closer mindset and pitchers generally seem to have trouble going from one to the other. Part of Joel’s pitching makeup seems to come from being pumped up, and that just won’t work as a starter, and I think he’d be lost without it.

Todd Jones pitched like a starter, but thought like a closer, which made him a better closer than some guys with closer stuff (which he really didn’t have). To me Brandon Lyon pitches more like a starter and seems more likely to adapt to starting than Zumaya.

(btw Kenny Rogers came up as a closer, and had 28 saves before Texas made him a starter, and a good move that was–if nothing else a good glove would have been wasted in a closer role).

Mike R June 15, 2009 at 3:12 am

It’s not the mindset I’m worried about. It’s the fact that he’s pitching on a surgically repaired pitching shoulder and has bad mechanics. Arm comes up over his shoulder level, his grip on the baseball leading to a tense arm and his motion is 100% effort. He will not last in a starters role at all. I’d be willing to put bets down on that.

Mith June 15, 2009 at 7:55 am

Yet he was previously a starter, right? Hmm, weird how he could do it before, but can’t now. But of course you know best, Mike.

Mike R June 15, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Don’t know why it won’t let me reply to Mith’s comment, but there have been plenty of pitchers who’ve been starters for a period of time. Just because their arm doesn’t blow out immediately doesn’t mean that their mechanics aren’t still bad and high injury risks — like Zumaya’s are.

Walter55 June 14, 2009 at 6:04 pm

If he will accept a demotion send him to the minors. No one will claim and give him some more time to work through it. Also I agree with everyone else that it is hard to believe that between Minor, Bonine and French that one of them is not better than Dontrelle. We just can’t keep having games from him when we are down 4-6 runs in the first few innings. Also anyone know how Carlos Guillen is coming along we could really use a healthy CG bat.

Kathy June 14, 2009 at 6:44 pm

True, true and true, to all of
Billfer’s comments. We’ve bent over backwards for him and he just doesn’t have it anymore. It’s sad, but he useless to our team.

tigerfan June 14, 2009 at 6:47 pm

How much longer before the tigers give up on an obvious waste of time in Dontrelle Willis he can’t throw strikes he, is to hyper ,doesn’t seem to be able to maintain his focus on throwing strikes and is just a total liability with no obvious assets as a major leauge pitcher. Maybe the tigers have to much time and money invested in him and maybe they see something in him I don’t but I say cut your losses (1 win and 4 losses) forget about his fragile emotional state and GET RID OF HIM!!!!!!!! give someone else a chance. I doubt they could do any worse.

Ryan P. June 14, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Tigers starting pitching sure is diverse and entertaining this year.

Vince in MN June 14, 2009 at 8:54 pm

The Tigers need to move Miner to the starting rotation, trade for, or bring up another starter (LH if possible, but if you can’t you can’t), somehow get some more pop into the lineup (these guys need a lot of help to score more than three runs right now), and lastly, somebody that write out the same lineup card two days in a row. Let’s try putting the best nine hitters in the lineup for a few days running, OK?

Vince in MN June 14, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Well 8 guys for the next two weeks, I guess. But shouldn’t that even be easier?

charles June 14, 2009 at 9:06 pm

I can’t believe all of these comments. It doesn’t matter who you have on the rotation if you don’t have a manager that knows how to use them. Leyland is abismal when it comes to . . . . well . . . anything. He plays the lefty/righty, 100 pitch, set up/closer game ad nausium. His formula coaching without the forumla ingredients is and will be the downfall of this Tigers team. It doesn’t matter who you can get in trades or who you bring up from the farm if your manager doesn’t know how to use them and Leyland doesn’t.

Vince in MN June 14, 2009 at 9:46 pm

Well said charles. I thought that Leyland’s lack of managerial skill started to become pretty apparent by late in ’06, and although I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt after the Togers got to the Series, my impression of his ineptitude has only been reinforced over the last 2+ years. I think he shoud have been shown the door long ago. Clearly this isn’t going to happen any time soon however. On the other hand it seems that DD and MI have shortened the leash quite a bit (no extension this year) and one would hope the top brass aren’t going to just twiddle while Leyland fiddles; that they will be thinking ahead to improving the player personnel on the team (maybe this just wishful thinking on my part). Leyland is a problem, but he isn’t the whole problem. The fact is, the team has some glaring weaknesses that must be addressed regardless of who the manager is.

Keith (Mr. X) June 14, 2009 at 10:07 pm

Have you seen all the scrubs in our line-up? Have you looked at our bullpen? Have you looked at the back-end of our rotation? With another manager we might very well be in last place. Leyland started off with a roster that was full of slow aging gimpy players. Right now he is winning with a bunch of scrubs that are playing together as a team. Kudos to Leyland for the fine job he’s done.

Coleman June 14, 2009 at 10:18 pm

Leyland’s “I can’t wait to see Dontrelle bat” comment had nothing to do with Leyland enjoying a “novelty act” and everything to do with Leyland deflecting attention from Dontrelle’s pitching problems and helping Dontrelle think about something other than missing the strike zone. It may not have worked but it was the right approach.

Walter55 June 14, 2009 at 9:15 pm

You read his comments and it makes you want him to make it back to where he was even more. It also make you think he wants one more chance and then you get the impression he would accept a demotion to the minors to get some more work in.

mark_in_gr June 14, 2009 at 9:27 pm

I agree, Charles . . . but your observations about Leyland are not news. He is incompetent, stubborn(the formula management allegiance), and has blind faith in misplaced players like Willis, wishing D-Train would get a win even more than D-Train wishing he would throw a strike.

But do you see significant changes from the top down? Do you see a new hitting coach or even rumors of one? Do you see any changes from the manager that make any baseball sense?

Is it just a coincidence that the Rockies just won their 11th straight w/a new manager at the helm? But here in Detroit, Illitch still seems happy w/a less than mediocre performance from his front office, management, coaches and players. Perhaps now that the Wings aren’t in the spotlight as much as last year, he will give the fans who pay $65 for tickets and $8.50 for a beer the attention that is necessary and make this team and it’s General Manager, manager, coaches and players accountable. But I wouldn’t hold my breath . . .

Jason June 14, 2009 at 9:32 pm

The Tigers’ plan has to be predicated on doing whatever it takes to get a healthy Bonderman and a healthy Willis in the rotation by August 1. Minor league starts, DL time, whatever works for each pitcher.

In the meantime… Nate is not an effective major league pitcher in any role. Miner isn’t great, but he’s the only other member of our bullpen who has experience in the rotation. Leyland has to stretch him out in the #5 spot and set Rick Knapp to work on making Armando league-average as the 4th starter.

Jeff Molby June 14, 2009 at 10:15 pm

I’ll go along with that plan.

Dylan June 14, 2009 at 9:40 pm

Cliff Lee has thrown a no hitter through 7 on ESPN.

Coleman June 14, 2009 at 9:44 pm

I wonder if back at Comerica they moved 1st base in a foot or so and moved 2nd a bit to the right if anyone would be able to tell, and if it would reduce the number of GIDPs…

jason June 14, 2009 at 9:47 pm

If we were in last, I would say we could afford to run him out there a few more times. However, we are in first and it is killing us with him in the rotation.

Mike June 14, 2009 at 9:48 pm

How about Tom Glavine? At the very least he could provide wisdom to the youngsters. And you just jinxed Lee, Dylan.

Coleman June 14, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Well as long as you bring up Glavine, I don’t believe Kenny Rogers ever officially announced his retirement, did he?

Keith (Mr. X) June 14, 2009 at 10:11 pm

Lose 2 road games in a NL ballpark and many of the fans here are getting restless, including myself. I guess fans complaining is better than fans not caring. Thank Leyland for that.

Mat June 14, 2009 at 11:02 pm

Great comments by Dontrelle. Hard not to root for the guy. Hard not to be frustrated with his performance. I’d give him another start before sending him back to Toledo if he still can’t get it together.

Steve In D-Town June 14, 2009 at 11:19 pm

The comments by Willis are sincere. I do believe that one more start is sensible, but I don’t think we can keep him out there if he even walks 2 batters. It just gets to tough to get out of, and with this lineup. Yea problem! Willis is great but he may be nearing the end of a fantastic career. Unfortunately like Bonderman you bring up a rising prospect before he is ready and he WILL burn out. I fear for Bondo as well. If he cant get his velocity up when he starts to rehab AGAIN, then he may also be a goner. One more chance for Willis, after that I say sign a starter for a one year deal (Pedro) and let Minor/Galarraga fight for the 5th spot.

scotsw June 15, 2009 at 10:33 pm

I don’t think there’s any evidence that Bonderman “burned out,” is there? He had a structural problem in his torso that made him susceptible to blood clots. I’m not a doctor, but I’ve never heard any suggestion that his condition was related to being “rushed.”

He was going to pitch somewhere in 2003, and the big club was god-awful. Historically so. So they let the kid pitch in the bigs.

I agree that the Tigers have to be in the market for an unsigned veteran at this point. Pedro or Kenny (who started strong last year before fading in the second half) might fit the bill if not asked to do too much. I was never certain we’d seen the last of K.R., actually.

Greg in Tampa June 15, 2009 at 1:52 am

Dave needs to get on the phone first thing tomorrow and talk to Kenny. And not hang up until Kenny agrees to be in Lakeland for the weekend. Let him stretch his arm out for 7-10 days and then see what he what he’s got. Couldn’t hurt. Hell, nothing can make the abyss that is the end of the rotation worse. Then put Arrrrrrr-mando on the DL let him take a week off then make a couple starts down on the farm. Get him to fix the mechanics then with some luck he can be a middle of the rotation, 12 wins a season,4.5 era pitcher.

boombotti June 15, 2009 at 2:35 am

I wonder if they will give brooks brown a shot

Mike R June 15, 2009 at 3:16 am

Dontrelle definitely says all of the right things in the Beck blog post. That said, I’m confused at his “I’ve come back before” comment. He’s been terrible since before we accepted him in the Miguel Cabrera trade and gave him that ridiculous, unearned contract. I’m not sure what he’s “come back before” from.

Bottom line is that he seems like a great teammate, is charismatic and would be a great face of the pitching staff. But he’s a brutally bad pitcher. I wish him all the best, but he cannot be in the rotation anymore. I’m certain that he’s not getting released (pretty sure we don’t want to eat that contract, even though we should), but I’d much rather his spot in Toledo goes to someone else. I see no place for him in the organization, unfortunately.

Jerry the Tiger Fan June 15, 2009 at 3:32 am

One thing to say: Free Zach Miner! It is obvious to anyone with a set of working eyeballs that Miner (while not great) is the most viable candidate for the fifth starter on this team. The Willis experiment is bizarre, what other major league team would be this patient with such an obvious lost cause. His velocity is so-so, his command is Stevie Wonder-like and yet we keep running him out there every fifth day when we have a guy who is serviceable for that role (Miner). I know they’re paying Willis a lot of money, but if it isn’t obvious by now to the Tiger’s braintrust that Willis is done I don’t know what more Willis needs to show them to get it thru their heads. Maybe he needs to walk 10 in a row before it sinks in? Maybe DD is afraid to admit he made a colosssal mistake in giving this guy a three year extension, but really Dave, the gig is up. I think everyone knows you screwed up royally here with Willis’ contract. Its time to man up and admit you’ve made a mistake.

MCM June 15, 2009 at 7:16 am

Willis out. Gallaraga on the DL. Miner and Lyon 4th and 5th in the rotation.

jason June 15, 2009 at 8:06 am

Did you hear this? or are you speculating? Your post is very ambiguous.

Ryan P. June 15, 2009 at 8:11 am

What are you smoking this morning?

Mark in Chicago June 15, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Does anybody have a suggestion on what injury Galarraga should go on the DL for? The tean can’t just put him on there because they feel like it, and given how sketchy the ‘anxiety disorder’ was for Willis, I would bet that any chance of a phony injury will be closely scrutinized.

scotsw June 15, 2009 at 10:36 pm

“Anxiet disorder” = stage fright, and it’s very, very real. For a performer like Willis, it’s literally a disability. He hasn’t conquered it yet, obviously.

It’s a shame, because he has a great arm.

Ryan June 16, 2009 at 9:20 am

Galarraga still has options…

Kramer June 15, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Might be time to Ankiel him. It wouldn’t solve our pitching problem but it might solve Dontrell’s anxiety.

Joey in Portland OR June 15, 2009 at 10:11 pm

Tough game to watch, Bob Walk one of the Pirates broadcasters was great, he was so grumpy cuz the Pirates were so impatient and swinging when Dontrelle couldn’t even sniff the strike zone. Which was a totally valid point, even a semi-patient team and it would have been a lot worse. We can’t keep giving up two automatic L’s when our 4 and 5′s pitch.

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