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How Dontrelle Willis Got His Leg Kick Back

I realize that Spring Training is a time for players to work on things, and you have to take that into consideration before judging any results. But geez, shouldn't Dontrelle Willis have his mechanics mostly worked out by now? His old leg kick popped up a few times last night.

The change became noticeable in his third, and final, inning of work. The big leg kick that Tigers instructors had worked to simplify last summer was back, including a little turn back before going toward the plate.

Did falling into old habits work? Not so much, it seems. Willis gave up five runs (four earned) on seven hits, with two walks in 2.6 innings last night. (I missed most of the D-Train while watching the Michigan-Clemson basketball game, so can't really judge how he threw, but imagine that Willis's performance compelled many to change the channel.)

Maybe getting back to something familiar helped him. (Jim Leyland and Rick Knapp seemed to think so, but they're just being supportive.) I guess we'll find out in his next appearance. But with about three weeks left in Spring Training, it's beginning to sound more like everyone just wants to find something - anything - that works.