Well isn't that nice. I don't think he ever had a problem PLAYING CATCH with nobody hitting, and no fans watching before. His problem is supposed to be mental is it not?
“I have to throw strikes and attack the strike zone, be aggressive,” Willis said. “My situation has been walking guys and giving up too many runs.”
On not being aggressive enough: “Uh-uh, no,” Willis said. “I was trying to be too fine.”
Willis has walked 63 batters in 57 2/3 innings with Detroit, going 1-6 with an 8.32 ERA.
But when he completed his first bullpen session this spring, he ran to catcher Joe Bowen high-fived him with his glove. Then, he pointed to the sky, shaking his head for approval.
“He threw extremely well,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said, “and it was free and easy. He had a good, loose arm action and mechanics. He threw the ball well and had a good look on his face. And that’s important.”
The problem with Willis has been Anxiety Disorder. Something that no amount of looking good in BP sessions is going to tell us anything. This guy has pitched well in his career before all this, but the anxiety prevents us from knowing if he has anything at all left. His unorthodox delivery was always looked at as a reason why hitters couldn't pick up his pitches. He never seemed to regain the early success he had in Florida.
We basically have 2 guys we know can pitch better than they have the last 2-3 years. Bonderman has also been a huge disappointment lately. Some ha to do with injuries. Others had to do with maybe the same kind of thing as Willis had. HE was notorious for giving up runs in the first inning. Like the guy was way too amped up before hitting the mound.
If either of these guys could keep their ERA around 4 and the walks down we might have a ridiculous pitching staff this year, but neither seems to be a good bet. Looks like Willis has hit the weight loss wand and is probably in good shape, but let's hope he can get the right medication and therapy to just get the job done.