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Published: Tuesday, 4/28/2009

Dontrelle Willis to start Friday for Mud Hens


Dontrelle Willis will take the next step on his road back to Detroit wearing a Mud Hens uniform as the left-handed pitcher will start for the Hens Friday in their contest at Lehigh Valley.

Willis worked out with the Mud Hens before yesterday s game after pitching for Detroit s Double-A team in Erie on Sunday.

I felt fine, I felt strong, Willis said of his performance for the SeaWolves, which saw him allow three hits and three walks that turned into two earned runs with six strikeouts in six innings.

Mud Hens pitching coach A.J. Sager said the Tigers will evaluate Willis in the same way they would any other pitcher on the Toledo staff.

You look at consistency, you look for command of the baseball, Sager said. You look to see if the pitcher is able to get big-league hitters out.

Willis, who went on the disabled list at the end of spring training because of an anxiety disorder, said he is looking forward to getting his work done in Toledo and making his way back to the majors.

I just want to get into a good routine, do my work, and be a pro about everything, Willis said. As long as you let me play baseball, I ll be happy.

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