PITTSBURGH -- The Reds said that Travis Wood would pitch on Saturday vs. the Pirates and that Dontrelle Willis is scheduled to pitch Sunday's series finale. "It depends on how Dontrelle does in his bullpen but we anticipate he'll be all right," Reds manager Dusty Baker said on Friday. It will be the final 2011 starts for both pitchers. Wood filled in for an ailing Willis on Monday and worked five scoreless innings for a no-decision vs. the Astros.
Willis missed his last turn in the rotation because of back spasms. "There was a lot of discomfort. I was hoping it would quiet down the next day but it didn't," Willis said. "I'm glad I feel better enough to get my final start in. It's a tough time to get hurt for anybody at the end of the year, but I wanted to finish healthy." In 12 starts this season, Willis is 0-6 with a 5.04 ERA, but he has nine starts where he has allowed three runs or less. During his last start on Sept. 12, a loss vs. the Cubs, he was knocked around for eight runs and nine hits over 3 1/3 innings. Willis, who was signed to a Minor League contract last winter and spent most of the first half of the season at Triple-A Louisville, can be a free agent after the season. Whether he returns or not, the left-hander was grateful that the Reds gave him the opportunity to reboot his career. "I would love to come back to Cincinnati," Willis said. "With the situation, you never know. They've got a lot of talented arms here. I really appreciated the opportunity that they gave me -- from Walt to Dusty and everybody. That was another reason it was important for me to come back and pitch and finish the season healthy -- not just for my sake but to tell the organization thanks. I want to finish the season healthy for them. This is a top-notch first-class organization, top to bottom, including the Minor Leagues. I've enjoyed my time here and in the city."