Dontrelle Willis made a start for Triple-A Toledo on Friday against Lehigh Valley. While he didn't have a complete FAIL, he did not really impress greatly either. His line for the day was three earned runs on seven hits and two walks in five innings. He hit a batter and threw a wild pitch. Both walks came in the first inning. He threw 60 strikes in 102 pitches. He left with the lead but the Mud Hens lost, 6-5. (box)
Stephen, from the comments on the Detroit Tigers Weblog site, reports:
I just watched Willis pitch at Lehigh Valley. What wasn’t encouraging was his velocity, rarely above 85, or his manic movements on the mound. There was a lot of batting practice fastballs that a major leaguer would have hammered. He never could get into a rhythm and he seems to be over-compensating and trying to convince himself and everyone around him that he’s having a good time out on the mound. It was a decent performance for a #4 starter for a AAA team, like a Casey Fossum type, but in terms of being an effective major league starter he has a long, long way to go.
Willis has been working his way back to the majors after being placed on the disabled list this spring with anxiety disorder. In Advanced-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie starts, he put together a couple of no-hit innings to start both games. In Toledo, he was throwing balls from the start. I believe it would be rushing the matter to try to get Willis to Detroit before he has proven to himself and the team he's ready. I have not seen reports of what is next for Willis, however.
Take 75 North, the Tiger minor league blog, has more info on Willis as well.