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Willis to return to Tigers, pitch next week


Willis to return to Tigers, pitch next week
CHICAGO (AP) - Detroit Tigers left-hander Dontrelle Willis is ready to return to the major leagues.

Manager Jim Leyland said Thursday that Willis, who has been on the disabled list since March 29 because of anxiety disorder, will start next Wednesday against the Twins in Minnesota.

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"He can't really benefit any more down there, so it's time to find out," Leyland said before the Tigers played the Chicago White Sox. "So we'll find out."

Willis made his fourth minor league rehab start Wednesday night, giving up two runs in 7 2-3 innings while walking four and striking out four.

Leyland said reports had Willis throwing his fastball anywhere from 89-93 mph while mixing in some good breaking balls.

Willis spent much of last season in the minors, rehabbing a right knee injury and trying to deal with control problems after starting the season 0-2 with a 9.38 ERA. He walked 35 batters in 24 innings.

The 2003 NL Rookie of the Year continued to have problems getting the ball over the plate during spring training, and the Tigers put him on the DL.

Also, right-hander Jeremy Bonderman is almost ready to begin making rehab starts.

Bonderman has been out since last June 1 with a circulation problem in his throwing shoulder that required surgery. Leyland said he threw six pain-free innings in an extended spring training game Wednesday.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 8, 2009

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