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D-Train back on track in the Tigers' rotation?

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.

  1. Brian - Apr 9, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    I hope he can get over what ever issues he is facing and any doubt or self-confidence problems that could be effecting his performance.
    More importantly, if some mental stress/issues are effecting his performance for an extended period, he should probably talk with someone, he can only feel better for doing it. (or, I suppose, he could just be bad.)
    I remember back when I was in high school I played the french horn in band, and frequently we were encouraged to compete in competition, etc. I had once practiced for so long on a particular piece of music that I completely burned out on it, then paniced because I sounded awful, and then could not get myself to play properly, even after resting for several days. I had gotten myself stuck into a rythym of bad playing somehow and mentally I couldn’t move past it, even though I knew I was capable physically. No coaching or advise could get me over the hurdle, and it wasn’t until I played at the competition itself, screwed up royaly and accepted the outcome (which wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be) that I was actually able to play well again.

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