Willis Optioned to Lakeland

The day after another rough outing for Dontrelle Willis, the Detroit Tigers optioned him to High-A Lakeland to work out the kinks. The Tigers also signed two players to help fill voids at Triple- A Toledo.

In Willis' second start since coming back from the disabled list, things didn't go as planned. Willis gave up five walks and eight runs in just 1 1/3 innings of work; raising his season ERA to a painful 10.32. Willis' control began to escape him last season in Florida, and has showed no signs of improvement since arriving in Detroit. The Tigers were forced to make a move as they scrap to try and salvage their spiraling season. Willis' temporary departure, combined with Jeremy Bonderman's surgery, leaves a gaping hole in the Tiger rotation. There are numerous candidates to fill the void in the short time, including Triple-A starters Virgil Vasquez, Chris Lambert, and Eddie Bonine. Already on the roster is left-hander Casey Fossum who had been starting in Toledo prior to his callup to Detroit. Early rumors indicate Bonine and his 9-2 record may be the team's choice. Aquilino Lopez is expected to return from the bereavement list and take Willis' spot on the roster. Some additional roster moves have taken place at Triple-A Toledo, as the Hens try to fill in their roster after a litany of promotions. Ryan Roberson was originally promoted to fill the void left by Jeff Larish, but asking a player who was barely scraping by at Double-A to fill in for the organization's top slugging prospect, is a tall order. To help fill in at first, the Hens will receive first baseman Fernando Seguignol. Fernando last played in the minor leagues in 2003 for the New York Yankees where he combined to go .342/.392/.617 in 109 games between High-A and Triple-A (106 games). The 33-year old Seguignol has played 178 games at the Major League level, accumulating a .249/.303/.451 line. Also joining the Mud Hens in the coming days will be former Tiger minor leaguer Brian Rogers. The Tigers dealt Rogers to the Pittsburg Pirates during the 2006 seaon in exchange for first baseman Sean Casey. Rogers appeared in 13 games for the Pirates in 2006 and 2007, and was pitching exceptionally well at both Double- and Triple-A so far this season. Rogers doesn't have overwhelming stuff, but he throws strikes and gets hitters out with alarming frequency. Both Seguignol and Rogers are expected to join the Hens in the coming days, so look for additional roster moves to balance things out.

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