Apr 9, 2010, 8:00 AM EDT
After capturing a spot in the Tigers’ rotation this spring Dontrelle Willis made his 2010 debut Thursday with a Quality Start, allowing two runs over six innings in a no-decision. Willis has come a long way after not being able to throw the ball over the plate for the past two seasons, tossing 54 of 88 pitches for strikes and walking just two batters, but there’s plenty of reason to be skeptical that he’ll reemerge as an impact pitcher.
For one thing, the spring performance that earned him a rotation spot included an awful 14/12 K/BB ratio in 22 innings. Beyond that, his velocity was underwhelming Thursday and a Royals lineup that included left-handed bats David DeJesus, Scott Podsednik, Rick Ankiel, and Chris Getz was just about the most favorable matchup possible for Willis. He also strung together back-to-back Quality Starts early on last year before falling apart.
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