Friday, June 05, 2009

Time For Tigers To Release Willis Could Come Soon

To be honest, Dontrelle Willis has actually done better than I anticipated this season. Obviously, that means my expectations for Willis weren’t too high. He is 1-3 with an ERA of 6.84. And the statistics are telling of the way he has performed.
I thought he’d walk more hitters, although15 walks in 25 innings isn’t exactly good control. He has fallen behind a lot of hitters and poured pitches over the heart of the plate - and gotten hit hard as a result.
No pitcher has ever really come back from what Willis had - and still, apparently, has - whether you call it, "Steve Blass Disease" or "The Thing." It’s one of baseball’s great unsolved mysteries.
He seemed to making progress toward doing so, but it was fleeting. The Tigers now have to make a decision. Circumstance, as much as their good play, has dictated they will be a contender this season. The American League Central is decidedly mediocre. Asking Willis to return the minors is a bit much, considering there would be no reason for the Tigers to expect him to return. It’s difficult to see how he’d help in the bullpen. Nobody is going to trade for him. Jeremy Bonderman is going to start Monday for the Tigers.
Could it be Willis will be released? The Tigers may have no other choice. Yeah, even with all that money left on his contract.

Random Thoughts

- The Lakers have considerably more athleticism - Pau Gasol, Larmar Odom, Andrew Bynum - inside than the Cavaliers. It is why the going is going to be a lot tougher for Dwight Howard and the Magic in the NBA Finals You could tell already in Game 1 this is going to be a short series - and why. The matchups were great for Orlando against Cleveland. It’s not like that at all vs. the Lakers.

- The Red Wings best chances for winning would include Justin Abdelkader. He should play in Game 5 Saturday night. It was mistake by Red Wings Mike Babcock he didn’t play in Game 4.

My column in Friday's Oakland Press:

The latest "Caputo And His Boss" video:



Blogger Barry said...

Well Pat, Willis condition is too bad because his stuff is there. Arguing ball and strike is the boiling point of a pitcher. His stuff is not all that bad beside the control issue. I would not be surprise if someone takes a flyer on him if the Tigers release him and the new team send him to AAA. Another guy on the team that is not throwing well is Nate, at 85 m.p.h and flat your asking for trouble.

5:54 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


What has happened to Dontrelle is so sad. I remember during his rookie season in 2003 when he was a last minute addition to the All Star Game in Chicago. He had taken the National League by storm, and I was excited to see him when I went to that game. He was getting loose in the bullpen in case the National League tied the game after Hank Blalock hit that 8th inning home run off Eric Gagne, but it wasn't to be, and the AL held off the NL to win the game. Anyway, I will never forget him after that weekend. He signed every autograph he could, took pictures with all the kids, and just genuinely looked like a breath of fresh air for Major League Baseball. It's just a shame that this had to happen to such a great representative for the game.

I hope he can have the same kind of attitude that Mark Fidrych had about his career. If he can keep that positive attitude, he can still have a huge influence away from the field because of his magnetic personality.


6:23 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

It's not only Robertson's velocity, but he is lacking the depth of break he used to have with his slider. A lot of money spent on Robertson and Willis.

6:12 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

He has been around for awhile, so people forget Willis is young. If he ever did pitch well, he'd own this town. But that seems more than doubtful at this point.

6:14 PM 
Blogger Steve said...

- The Red Wings best chances for winning would include Justin Abdelkader. He should play in Game 5 Saturday night. It was mistake by Red Wings Mike Babcock he didn’t play in Game 4.


10:42 AM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...


It seems clear that the options for Tiger rotation changes are only two:
1] You send the struggling young Galarag to the minors and hope he can straighten up - chance of success somewehere guestimated at 75%.

2] you release Willis - keep Galaraga in the rotation and eat the remainder of Willis ka-Jillion dollar contract.

This assumes Bondy starts well. It sounds like he should.

Personally I would like to release Willis - as paying him to lose games is worse than paying him not to pitch - in my always humble opinion.

And I would like to toss Galaraga down to Toledo to get his mechanics back.

I wouldn't mind seeing a new young Toledo arm come up and play a few in Galaraga's absence. What's the harm? It's not like the rest of the central is biting at our heels.

As for Crosby - he has been exposed for what he is. Amazing how many people today have told me how justified he was for blowing up.

Makes me shake my head.

12:37 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

The Red Wings won big, but still seems to me Abdelkader gives them the best chance to win. Appreciate your point, though.

5:51 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
They sent Perry down, which to me seems like a mistake with all these games coming up. How long can they afford to carry Willis? Suppose a lot has to do with Bondo tonight. I thought Crosby was better than this. I thought he'd have a great final. I was wrong. At least to this point.

5:53 PM 

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