|Willis' next start delayed until Tuesday|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 22 June 2007 11:44|
Willis, who had been scheduled to pitch Sunday against Minnesota's Johan Santana, is now slated to start Tuesday for the Marlins against Pittsburgh.
``I think they're just worried about me not getting a further injury,'' Willis said. ``They don't want me to be out for a year.''
Willis played catch Friday and said his arm felt fine, but the Marlins decided to make the change anyway. Right-hander Byung-Hyun Kim (3-3) will start Sunday.
Willis lobbied against the switch but said he understood.
``I'm one of those guys that will go out there until the wheels fall off,'' Willis said, ``and I don't think they want this wheel to fall off.''
Manager Fredi Gonzalez said the change was precautionary to allow Willis to receive two more days of treatment before his next start. Willis is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Saturday.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire had mixed feelings about his team not facing Willis for the first time.
``I enjoy watching him play baseball,'' Gardenhire said. ``I don't like it because he can really stick it to you. But I enjoy watching him on the mound, so I'm kind of disappointed - he's fun to watch.''
Willis, who is 7-6 with a 4.90 ERA, has never missed a start because of injury. His left arm tightened after he was inadvertently kicked by Cleveland's Grady Sizemore on June 14, and he gave up four runs Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox before leaving the game after one inning.
The Marlins' rotation has had injuries all year. Anibal Sanchez underwent season-ending shoulder surgery Thursday, Sergio Mitre spent time on the disabled list because of a blister, and Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco have combined to make only five starts because of elbow problems.