Willis making progress in Triple-A

Encouraging results from the D-Train

Dontrelle Willis, LHP, Tigers (Triple-A Toledo)
Wednesday's stats: 7.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 4 K

It didn't take a scout to figure out that Willis was just plain broken this spring, and he definitely is making some slow and steady improvements. On Wednesday night, he sat at 87-90 mph with his fastball and, more importantly, threw 74 of his 118 pitches for strikes. There's no timetable for his return to the majors, but it might be sooner than expected.

Another visit from Uncle Charlie

Christian Friedrich, LHP, Rockies (Low-A Asheville)
Wednesday's stats: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K
Every year, a few guys drop in the draft for unknown reasons. In 2008, Friedrich was one of those guys. Expected to go somewhere in the middle of the first round, he instead dropped into Colorado's lap at No. 25 overall. And the Rockies are not complaining. He has a solid fastball and one of the best curveballs around, and dominating breaking balls can torture Low-A hitters. With 45 strikeouts in 29 innings and a 0.93 ERA in five starts, Friedrich isn't long for the Sally League.

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