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Dontrelle Willis fails to make Reds’ bullpen, heads to Triple-A

Mar 29, 2011, 12:50 PM EDT

dontrelle-willis-reds-spring AP

Dontrelle Willis‘ latest comeback attempt has hit a snag, as he failed to secure a spot in the Reds’ bullpen and has been reassigned to Triple-A.

Willis had to agree to the Triple-A assignment, so clearly he thinks the Reds still give him the best opportunity to get back to the majors at some point.

Dusty Baker told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that Willis “was real close to making it 10 days, 10 weeks ago” but “kind of regressed a little bit” late in camp.

Baker also indicated that he’ll be used as a starter in the minors, although that may be mostly due to the Reds’ recent rash of injuries sapping their once-strong rotation depth. Willis is still just 29 years old, but hasn’t been healthy and effective as a starter or a reliever since 2006.

  1. trevorb06 - Mar 29, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    I wonder what happened to this guy. He was my favorite pitcher back in his day, which being is only 29 still feels like forever ago. I hope he can find it again, why can’t the Cards sign him so Duncan can work his magic?

    • JBerardi - Mar 29, 2011 at 3:03 PM

      Sometimes guys just go into decline early. It’s happened to better pitchers than Willis– specifically, it’s happened to Oliver Perez.

  2. sportsdrenched - Mar 29, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Hate to see players decline like that, when it’s too early to decline. This guy used to be good enough to have a cool nickname.

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