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Dontrelle Willis drawing a lot of interest for some reason

Nov 10, 2011, 5:26 PM EDT

Colorado Rockies v Cincinnati Reds Getty Images

Jon Heyman tweet:  “hearing dontrelle willis is drawing lots of interest. nice story if he takes another step forward next yr.”

I’m struggling to think of who is showing interest in Willis and why. Yes, Willis did take a step forward, but given how far back he had fallen over the previous several years that’s not saying all that much.  He still had an ERA of 5.00 and WHIP of 1.520.

I suppose once someone does something great like Willis did in the early part of his career that it’s hard to shake the notion that he could do it again.  I also suppose that rather than criticize such a stance it would be nicer to say that it represents hope and optimism. But no, it ain’t likely that Willis is truly going to be able to help anyone next year.

  1. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 10, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    I don’t understand why he became such a different pitcher. I’ve heard all sorts of talk about it, but I don’t get it.

  2. Jeremiah Graves - Nov 10, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    I’ve been preaching the gospel of Dontrelle for awhile now. I don’t know why, but I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that he’s gonna bounce back next year. Maybe not like an ace, but as a solid middle-of-the-rotation guy.

    …here’s hoping that he proves me (and seemingly a bunch of other interested GMs) correct.

    If for no better reason than so I can brag about totally calling this in advance.

  3. metalhead65 - Nov 10, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    I do not understand what he did so wrong this year for the reds. he had a lousy record because he had no run support. except for a couple of bad games he was a solid middle of the rotation starter. oh wait he does not measure up to your fantasy stats so he sucks. if he played for a decent team and manager he would do just fine. I lost track of how many games dusty cost him and the rest of the pitching staff by sending them out for that 1 extra inning they did not have then watch them give up the tying or go ahead runs before taking them out. and don’t forget the guy can hit also.

    • thefalcon123 - Nov 10, 2011 at 6:34 PM

      Huh? How much run support should he expect?
      He walked 4.4 batters per nine, had a 1.54 K/BB ratio and gave up 3 or more runs in 9 of his 13 starts. He had maybe two or three good starts, half a dozen mediocre starts and three of so awful starts.

  4. thefalcon123 - Nov 10, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    Since 2008, Willis has a full-season esque 199 innings pitched. What has he done with them?

    Wins: 4
    Losses: 15
    ERA: 6.15
    K: 139
    BB: 156
    HR: 20
    WHIP: 1.814

    So, I assume Heyman meant he’s drawing interest the same way a bloody car-wreck draws interest from morbid spectators.

  5. paperlions - Nov 10, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    I think the interest is because he did everything well except for not walking guys (which is bad, yeah). He had a great FB% (26.4), and GB% (54.5), among MLB leaders in both of those….he also had a solid K% (17.1)….put it all together and it wouldn’t be a bad 5th/6th starter if the money is right…and teams were probably hoping to swoop in with a cheap 1 or 2 year with team options….figuring if they could get the walks ironed out…he’d be a steal.

  6. ta192 - Nov 10, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    Left hander, gets an extra look…

    • Jeremiah Graves - Nov 11, 2011 at 2:04 PM

      Lefties never die!

  7. missingdiz - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    sixth starter? has it come to that? jeez, i’m really missing diz, and Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, and a whole long list of guys who wanted the ball every 4th game and tried to pitch a complete game.

    OK, i’m an old geezer, but where does it end? 7 man rotation? 8? + 12 relievers?

    No wonder nobody is going to have a 57 game hit streak. Or hit .400, even though some of the recent hitters–e.g., Tony Gwynn–are as good as anybody ever.

    • paperlions - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:13 PM

      6th starter = insurance for injury to rotation…not a 6 man rotation….and those old geezers you loved didn’t have to face today’s lineups….back in the day there were a number of easy outs in each lineup…today, you can’t leave the ball over the middle to very many guys without paying a heavy price for it.

    • aaronmoreno - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:42 PM

      Also, I think it’s been awhile since Tony Gwynn played. You may just be an old geezer.

  8. missingdiz - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:47 PM


    thanks for the reply. i get it. but still…

    the great ones could miss over the plate occasionally–all the guys i mentioned, plus Ryan, Johnson, etc. such pitchers still could come over the middle and do OK. such pitchers still could.

    but look at Spahn or Ford–they had to stay away from the middle and keep adjusting for 9 innings. mickey mantle said it seemed everything Spahn threw him moved an inch at the last moment–like Maddox, I think.

    but my main concern is not that men were manlier back then, etc. that’s b.s. but — well, i’m a cardinals fan and i’m still in rapture. but there were a couple of nagging concerns. i found myself thinking “ok, maybe Lohse can give us 3 innings.” seriously. during the regular season, Westbrook gets through 5 and gives up 4, and i’m thinking “alright!” i’m concerned with the direction of change that i think i’m seeing. will we have a 1-time through the order guy to “start,” and then another 1-time through the order guy, and then multiple relievers, capped off by our last-inning closer? i just don’t think it would be good for the game. especially when we have to endure multiple obnoxious commercials during every change.

  9. cintiphil - Nov 11, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    He has shown some great stuff while here in Cinti. However, he seems to fall apart after 4 or 5 innings. This may be a matter of coaching and/or conditioning. He throws as hard as ever.

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