The charismatic left-hander has had a tumultuous couple of months as he's tried to fight his way back to the bigs.
It seems he's been everywhere, man.
Willis compares his last couple months to a traveling circus, what with the attention that has followed him with each outing. His Spring Training performances were put under a microscope, and his final outings in the spring were viewed as if they could be his last. His most recent game appearance in a Tigers uniform actually came in extended spring training.
Since then, his road back has sounded like a Johnny Cash song. He's been to Lakeland, Fla., to Erie, Pa., to Allentown, Pa., then on to Pawtucket, R.I. He flew back from Pawtucket and hooked up with the Tigers in Cleveland before taking a charter flight with the rest of the team here. And somewhere during the time in Spring Training, he had a trip to Detroit to be examined by doctors.
"It's been a traveling circus," Willis said. "I've been everywhere. Trust me, it's not as bad as what it seems, but I want to be a traveling circus in that big league uniform, like everybody else."
For his part, Willis seems to have a great attitude about the situation, even if it's far from ideal.
"Even when I went on the DL, I felt fine. You can ask anybody in here. I'm not a depressed guy. Maybe I'm hard on myself, but I wouldn't have gotten here if I wasn't. But there's a fine line to knowing what you can control and what you can't control. As far as how I feel, I don't have a condition. My condition is me going out there and playing baseball and having fun. If God doesn't want me to do it, then I'll find something else to do."
Do we think Willis will ever return to his brilliant early-career form, or will his comeback to the major leagues be short-lived?
Willis ready for much-anticipated return (MLB)