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Kranitz has a suggestion for Willis

Kranitz wants Willis to change his grip.

Pitching coach Rick Kranitz has a good idea why Dontrelle Willis has been less effective this season. Entering tonight's start, Willis is winless in his past seven outings and his ERA is at 4.81, well over a run higher than his career mark entering this season (3.44).

Kranitz has noticed Willis' grip changes when he gets in trouble. His hand is on the side of the ball instead of on top, which allows him to throw down and keep the ball hidden longer.

"The hitter sees the ball so much easier that way than they do the other way," Kranitz said. "As soon as you drop that hand, the body starts to go and so does the deception and everything. That being rectified, that's going to take care of pretty much everything."

Willis appreciates the tip, but he's not so sure.

Asked if he noticed a difference keeping his fingers on top of the ball rather than on the side, Willis said: "No. It's just throwing the ball over the plate. I'm not trying to make this complex. ... As far as adjustments, I'm a feel guy anyway. What might work one day might not work for me the next day. I'm able to make that adjustment and throw the ball over the plate. I'll get better."

I have a lot to say about this, but time is not permitting.

But I will say this: his grip could be a problem but even if it is, it isn't the one that concerns me the most.

I think this experiment trying to get Dontrelle to throw in the 80's instead of the 90's has been a complete failure.  Sure he has more movement on his pitches when he throws 86-88 mph but control is an issue and the ones that cross the plate, Olivo can't catch.

Unfortunately, I can't go into more detail than that at the moment.  But as always with opinions, yours may vary.