Willis to Toledo for next start

The Tigers transferred Dontrelle Willis’ rehab assignment to Toledo Monday, setting him up to start for the Mud Hens on Friday at Lehigh Valley.

Willis last pitched Sunday for Double-A Erie, where he gave up two runs on three hits in six innings Sunday with three walks and six strikeouts. Before that, he pitched seven innings for Class A Lakeland last Tuesday to start off his rehab assignment.

It’ll mark Willis’ third start with the Mud Hens in his two seasons with the Tigers. He made three starts there during a rehab assignment last May while on the disabled list with a hyperextended right knee, then came back to the Mud Hens in August during his summer stint in the Minors before rejoining the Tigers that September.

As of now, it isn’t clear yet how long Willis’ stint with the Hens might be. The Tigers can run his rehab assignment for up to 30 days, which would take him to May 20, but his workload has already stretched him out in terms of pitch counts.

39 Comments

Guillen’s Achilles tendon problem won’t just go away by itself. I’d say he’s the permanent DH for the time being.
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So Raburn gets the standard “no-brainer” start against the lefty? Does anyone even know if Anderson can hit lefties? The kid can get a hit by topping one in the infield, and he’d be my everyday starter in left. Or right, with Ordonez moved to left, ala the WBC. Why argue with success? Like I’ve said, I have no problem with “helping” JL manage the club. :-)
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–Rich

Well Carlos isn’t exactly ripping the hide off the ball against LHP he has been facing. Josh is a .250 career (63 AB) against southpaws.
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Carlos is great guy and good teammate, but the fact he is injured pretty much most of the time, should be taken into account when filling out the lineup card. If he is injured and hobbled with an Achilles then the only thing that justifies him in the lineup is if he is getting extra base hits. Walks and singles (and they have;’t happened much either) only serve to put him on the bases longer and aggravate the Achilles even more. He does not seem “dangerous” . If he does start to hit the ball it can only help Cab to see some better pitches too.
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Sure is nice to see a guy with a dirty uniform. Josh and his game-changing speed are a refreshing change to have in the Tiger lineup.
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Clete is struggling down in Toledo. Striking out a lot (only Hessman has more).
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Raburn is in tough tonight agains Sabatthia. CC is due to turn things around and we have seen him hard on us in the past. The Tigers are hitting over .300 agains LHP so far so let’s hope that holds true today.
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Even if Andersons stats were bad, which they are not, he should have stayed because of the run he is on and his defense capabilities. Anderson is hitting .322 career to date. Against lefties, .389 in 2007 from 18 at bats and .2 from 45 at bats in 2008. His two at bats against lefties this year produced one hit.
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Against right handers, Anderson has gone .347 in 2007, .341 in 2008 and .355 this year. Anyone with this amount of talent surely just needs more exposure against lefties.
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Curtis is going .316 against lefties and .228 against right handers.

That 1st innings 8 pitches with 7 strikes must be a JV record, at least for a couple of seasons. Lets hope NY are well and truly beat up after the marathon in Boston. I definitely was just watching it.
You always feel with JV that a fuse has been lit and is just waiting to go off. Hopefully not this time today.

Brandon’s hitting/on base streak continues! Man, he is really lighting it up. Not sure if it’s attitude or how he’s holding his hands but it has really improved at the plate.

And that’s the end of that. Seems like int he last week they have grounded into a lot of DP’s.

Verlander was impressive there. 2 leadoff hits and he MAINTAINED his composure. That is dramatic departure from what we have witnessed earlier.

Totally agree. In previous games the bomb would have gone off then, and he would be trying to throw harder and harder. If he can just get to throwing his off speed pitches down falling out of the zone, he will have them today.

There making it hard for JV, no breaks for the past 3 innings. I would pull Carlos now for a few days and put Maggs at DH.

It goes without saying—c’mon offense — get your pitcher some runs. For some weird reason–they sometimes come up pretty impotent when JV is on the mound.

Well Dave. They really need to get him some runs. For the team’s sake. Not just his. They know he deserves it and they are pressing to get it done. If they can get it done, it will rally help in the clubhouse.

Your word Dan enigma sums up JV perfectly. How someone coming now 2nd in the AL for strikeouts, stuggles to get a win is just crazy stuff.

I know it’s not gonna be too long from now, but I don’t want to see a bald Ryan Raburn in a Tiger uniform.

That comment is worth the price of admission – I thought he could platoon with Maggs in the outfield for you?? :-)

Naw. I don’t think Ryan is a MLB. Sorry to say. Average size big man’s swing. bad combination.
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Interesting reaction on Verlander’s part after Canoes rocket to RF. Hopefully he takes notice that he is entering the danger zone and to be less arrogant and more careful —now.

F-I-N-A-L-L-Y!!
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this is what Curtis needs to do against the premier LHP

He is getting more of his pitches down with the odd high fastball mixing the heights. His 9 SO’s thus far put him only 2 behing Greinke’s 36.

F-I-N-A-L-L-Y!!
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A clutch hit and an extra base hit. Credit where creidt is due.

Next time though Maggs—don’t admire it unless you have hit it 450 ft. (You guys knew that was coming)
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Let’s see what Verlander has now that he has been staked to a decent lead and some comfort level. The Yanks are starting to zero in on him.

So right about getting under the skin of pitchers – Bosox do it all the time. The stolen base didn’t come off but keeping at it with bunts and suicide squeezes sure helped get CC out of his cruise control mode he was in. Polly is starting to be his reliable self and GO MAGGS!!

To tell you the truth, and to be honest with you—- I like Laird –I like him a lot.
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Verlander out for the 8th and I am somewhat surprised. I aimagine he is on a pretty short leash.

Jl–c’mon you shoulda known better.

JV was never going to pitch 2 more innings, up to 99 pitches after 7. Even though the 7th was short, he was losing command. Great comeback by Seay. Who will he put up for the 9th in a non save situation, but still close? I think he would save Rodney and go Perry if Lyon is never going to go late again.

Yikes. I was actualy thinking this was a good time to use Perry.
Looks like now they better get Lyon (egads) going.

I have never been so glad to see a run scored with that DP. Rodneys last 2 starts have hardly been confidence building!!

You go ahead and clap Rodney but you have showed tonight and last night why this team is still searching for a CLOSER.
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Way to go Placido and Inge made a clutch defensive play on a bal lI have seen him throw into right center.
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Polanco was the man that game.
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Nice to see these guys win one for Velander. It means they respect him and they came together to support a fine effort.
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Observation–if Guillen keeps dropping his back shoulder he will not be driving the ball in the gaps or over the wall.
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Right now in my book–if a righty is throwing then Anderson and larish have to be in the lineup.
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If a lefty is throwing then you better hope Cab Ordonez Inge and Laird are mashing becasue Guillen and Raburn are a poor option.
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Raburn is lost out there. He plays like a seasoned minor leaguer. If we need a RHB from Toledo I think it has to be Clevlen or Ramirez. With Clevlen you tell hime now aor never and with Ramirez you give him experience and enjoy the fact he can be optioned.

Seay hets a hold but that is (substantively) as good as save as you’ll get. He did a nice job for Justin under difficult circumstances.

Well, I have to admit that I was a lot nervous a lot of the game. I especially didn’t like when Verlander came back out in the 8th. I loved Bobby Seay. And I really really didn’t like when Rodney came out in the 9th. It wasn’t a save situation, and as much as I loved Todd Jones it was a little too much like a Todd Jones outing. A solid hit, a few little bleeders and bang two runs. Thank god they turned that double play. And yes I liked Todd Jones, he did it right a lot of the time.
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Good Job Tigers. Going to the game tomorrow and hope the weather holds and looking forward to that inevitable curse of the AAA call up.
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GO TIGERS

Have seen a lot of games in recent Tiger history when our closer made things a bit more nerve wracking than we’d like. But hey, we got the win, Justin pitched well and the main thing is we are getting W’s that we didn’t last year. Just watched as Kerry Wood got lit up and Pappelbon gave up 3 hits himself. Fernando’s our guy, like it or not, and we’ll see how it goes.

–Ed

I agreed with everything Leyland did tonight (other than the lineup) so that’s an event for me. Verlander was dominant so I let him start the 8th against the two RH hitters. And I take him out after they both single. Bobby Seay is a weapon out there. Verlander had his good curve and was keeping the fastball under control, only ratcheting up the velocity when he needed it.
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Granderson would be a .330 hitter if he made that drag bunt a regular part of his game. And it did get something going too. Make a very large pitcher have to attempt an athletic play and shake him out of his comfort zone. That was a key play. I never thought Ordonez’s drive would go out because his swing looked abnormal, stepping back. As it was, that was nearly a sensational catch by Swisher.
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I fully expected Inge to throw that DP ball over Polanco’s head. Turned into another highlight play.
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Rodney is looking like a real closer out there, being less effective when it’s not a save situation. Not sure if that’s a compliment…………. :-)
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All in all, I wish these guys would play this kind of game when I’m in attendance.
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Many of us thought it was paramount that we be at or above .500 at the end of April, and that has been accomplished.
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–Rich

EXCELLANT START BY VERLANDER!
NO WALKS! MADE EVERYBODY EARN THEIR WAY ONTO THE BASEPATHS! Nice quality pitching tonight. I hope it doesn’t go into his head.. but looked like he changed around his pitch method, and confused the hitters from previous scouting on him!
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Way to go MAGGS! Curtis! Nice to see that bunt, maybe it rattled CC a little too! Made him have to hustle off the mound, and great way to get on base!
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Good game! Don’t have to win everything, but stringing together some consecutive games are getting some credit where credit is due in Detroit! Nice to see Bobby Seay shut them down in the 8th.

Nice outing JV, like to see the command and taking control of the game. Props to Bobby for the hold, great job of coming on with 2 men on, zero outs, and not allowing a run to score – outstanding. I loved the drag bunt for a single by Curtis, he executed that perfectly – adding that to his arsenal of power he has too will be a tremendous asset.

I agree with keeping verlander in for first 2 batters of 8th.
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when are big league managers gonna learn not to put closer in with 4 run leads?.. it’s just asking for trouble.. we see it over and over and over every year.. especially on this team. Rodney has a 2.25 ERA in save situations and a 9.00 ERA in non-save situations.
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Great win last night though.. I’m happy for verlander to get a win finally. We should have a great shot tonight as long as Jackson is solid. And tomorrow would be gravy.

That being said, Rodney’s first 5 innings = 0 hits, 0 R
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Rodney’s last 3 innings = 8 hits, 5 runs

I don’t agree with Verlander going back out in the 8th.
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He had a a well-pitched shut-out in the bag. He needed to leave that game in a position of total success. He had thrown 100 pithces and was starting to give up some loud outs. They Yanks were due to get to him and, fortunatley, they weree nipped by Seay, but a couple of runs offf of verlander would not have fed his healthy ego the way that shutout did.
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It turned out fine but it could have ended up in another frustration. I see the logic in bringing Seay in after the RHB but I didn’t see the logic in JV spoiling a pretty much perfect outing.
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Worked out just fine though.

The last thing I said to my wife before she went to bed was “if he doesn’t send Verlander out there in the 8th, I’ll drive up there and shoot him.” :-) Actually, I think it was a 50-50 decision. If he goes out and blows them away in the 8th, so much the better. And if he doesn’t, bad choice. Someone would have disagreed either way. That’s our job as fans. :-)
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The Yankees weren’t able to work their ABs like they usually do. JV was ahead in the count all night. They began to adjust to that in the later innings and it was getting onto time for JV to make his own adjustment before he left the game.
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Usually a manager uses a closer in a non-save situation to get him some needed work. That wasn’t the case last night. Maybe JL wanted to drop the hammer on them but that would demonstrate that he’s a little caught up in Rodney-mania. At this point, I’m not yet convinced that Fernando is THE man. Chad’s stats are interesting. Does it imply a closer in non-save roles, or does it imply the usual up and down Rodney? Let’s just say I don’t breathe easy yet when he comes in. Maybe by August………………..
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–Rich

Chad, I get your point about not using a closer in non save situations. Believe me, I was nervous about Rodney coming on last nite. But what if JL had used Perry or Zumaya in that spot and they immediately got in hot water. Would you have felt comfortable bringing in Rodney with runners on? Not really the role on this team. JL, I believe, is trying to instill confidence in Fernando in that role of closer. And although 4 runs is a nice lead, it certainly was not insurmountable. The problem I see is if the next two games happen to be one run affairs–wouldn’t JL be pushed into using someone else in the closer role?

–Ed

Well, I have to say this… if JV gets his season turned around I think he can look back on that 4th inning as the tipping point. He hit a cross road in that inning. Giving up the two hits he could have either just gotten mad, hung a curve or walked a batter or what have you or he could simply bear down and get through it. He did the latter blowing away Swisher and the other guy and I think that could set the tone for him the rest of the season. A watershed inning. And it sounded on the radio like the Detroit fans were appreciative. You could hear them supporting JV on ever pitch in the latter half of that inning.

Great win. Jackson on the hill tonight. Raburn has to start proving something to me if he wants to stay.

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