So if a terrible Spring Training capped off with one final meltdown was enough for Tim Byrdak's services to no longer be required, what's going to happen with Dontrelle Willis after his disastrous outing this afternoon against the powerhouse that is the Pittsburgh Pirates? (Mike McClary already posed this question at The Daily Fungo earlier today, and sent me a fiery text message detailing Willis's meltdown.)
Let's survey the crime scene, shall we? In three horrifying innings, Willis gave up seven runs (six earned), eight hits, and four walks. Against the D-Train, it was all Pirates aboard.
Willis thus finishes the spring with an 8.64 ERA and a 1-3 record. He struck out 12 batters in 16 2/3 innings, but his 15 walks and 16 earned runs wipe out virtually all positive vibes.
Are the Tigers going to send the D-Train to the scrap heap? With the three-year, $29 million contract they gave him just before Christmas, such a decision would be highly unlikely. But sending Willis in for repairs might not be a bad idea. I asked if he was injured earlier this week, but the Tigers apparently thought he was well enough to send him out there today.
Not that you would wish injury upon anyone, but at this point, should we be hoping that a sore arm is the cause of Willis's struggles? Any other explanation could be far more disturbing.