Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Willis Stays in Rotation, Bondo to Pen

Jim Leyland announced today that Dontrelle Willis will start Sunday's game and that Jeremy Bonderman will go to the pen. This is not a big surprise given Jeremy's performance in Monday's game. The 26-year-old right-hander allowed 6 runs on 8 hits, including three homers in 4 innings and looked as bad as the statistics indicated. His velocity (high 80s at best) was well below the mid 90s he reached prior to his physical problems and his command was not very good either.

Dontrelle Willis is only a slightly more palatable option with his 6.60 ERA and 16/20 K/BB ratio in 30 innings. Willis has better stuff than Bonderman right now but seems to have little idea where the ball will go once he releases it. Still, he has pitched a couple of decent games and probably has a better chance of keeping the team in games than Bonderman.

I believe a better option would be Zach Miner. I know he nibbles too much and is maddeningly inconsistent but he was fairly successful as a starter for extensive periods in the past. In fact, in 13 starts at the end of last year, he compiled a 4.30 ERA. I'd feel more comfortable with him starting than either of their other options but I think that will only happen as a last resort.

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