Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Willis to pen, Rapada to DL

Dontrelle Willis has been added to the Tigers 25 man roster and will pitch out of the pen initially. He will take the place of Clay Rapada who has been placed on the 15 day disabled list with biceps tendinitis. Putting a starting pitcher who fairly recently signed a 3 year $29 million contract in the bullpen is an unusual move but I think it's a good one.

Willis struggled with his control all spring, then hurt his knee and continued to have some trouble finding the zone during his rehab at AAA Toledo. Armando Galarraga, who took Dontrelle's place in the rotation, has been the Tigers best starting pitcher this year posting a 3.06 ERA in six starts spanning 35 1/3 innings. There had been speculation that Galarraga would go to then pen to make room for Willis but the Tigers have decided to go with the hot hand. A smart move in my opinion.

I would imagine that Willis will pitch long relief. If he does well as a reliever, he will then probably move back into the rotation replacing a pitcher who is either unhealthy or pitching poorly. What if nobody is nobody is injured or pitching poorly? Well that would be a nice problem to have but I'm not counting on it given the way this season has gone.

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