TigsTown Roundtable: What to do with Willis?

Ready to talk Tigers? Want to hear the opinion of the TigsTown staff on some of the hot button topics of the offseason? Welcome to the TigsTown Roundtable! This week's question: What should the Tigers do with Dontrelle Willis when he is ready to come off the disabled list?

Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
Ultimately, Dontrelle Willis is going to make his way back into the rotation. Which means a spot in the rotation has to open up, and there is no logical choice to take someone out. Armando Galarraga theoretically would be the odd man out, the only problem is that Galarraga has been the team's most consistent member of the rotation since joining the group in mid April. Justin Verlander, Nate Robertson and Kenny Rogers all have ERA's in the six's, but Verlander is the team's ace (and has also lowered his ERA a point and a half from April to May), Robertson has the best strikeout-to-walk ratio, and Rogers has turned in the most quality starts. What does that ultimately mean? It means, barring injury, the Tigers might be looking for a place to put Galarraga, even if he's been the team's most effective starter.

Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
Willis' handling will be entirely determined by his command. If he shows improved mechanics and command in his next rehab start, he could be activated and thrust in the rotation quickly. If he does not, you could see some additional roster stunts to extend his minor league rehab clock. In the end, when he's healthy and out of time at the minor league level, I believe you're going to see him back in the rotation; likely at the expense of Armando Galarraga. In my view, Kenny Rogers should be the one to make room for Willis, but with Leyland's issues surrounding veteran loyalty, I have a hard time seeing that happen. I don't envision the Tigers doing anything drastic with Willis in the near future; their investment is just too great at this time.

Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
I would guess the Tigers would send Zach Miner back down to the minor leagues, and let either one of the struggling starters go to the bullpen to work on getting back on track, or have Armando Galarraga go there as a long man. With the way the other starters have been struggling for the majority of the season, Galarraga won't exactly be hurting for innings should he be sent to there. There is also the slim possibility that a trade could be in the works. After all, the Jason Grilli trade came out of nowhere, so they may have something planned to alleviate any roster issues.

Have your own opinion on the issue? Ready to talk about it? State your opinion on the Detroit Tigers Open Message Board and go head to head with the experts!

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