General manager Dave Dombrowski said he remains "fairly optimistic" that Willis will return to the major leagues this year.
Willis said he has been feeling well on and off the mound. "I'm never depressed at all," he said. "... This is not something where I'm too amped up, I don't know where I'm at, and I'm running sprints up and down the parking lot. ... [The doctors] see something in my blood that they don't like. I'm not crazy."
Dombrowski said Willis will undergo treatment but didn't specify what it would involve. He said he believes the diagnosis illuminates the troubles Willis had last year, when he went 0-2 with a 9.38 ERA.
Et cetera: : Brett Gardner beat out Melky Cabrera for the Yankees' starting center-field job. ... Mariners right-hander Brandon Morrow confirmed that he will start the season in the bullpen. Morrow said he doesn't envision returning to a starting role.