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End of the line for D-Train? Phillies release Dontrelle Willis

Mar 16, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies' Willis and Qualls wait to throw in the bullpen during workouts at the team's spring training complex in Clearwater Reuters

Last week after an ugly appearance Dontrelle Willis described his performance as “horse[bleep]” and it turns out the Phillies apparently agreed, releasing the veteran left-hander today.

Willis signed a one-year, $850,000 deal in December and was expected to serve as a situational southpaw out of the bullpen after shutting down lefty bats in 2011, but he’d never filled that role before and unfortunately the switch to relief didn’t work miracles on the 30-year-old who hasn’t been healthy and effective in the same season since 2006.

He was checked out for a sore arm and fatigue recently, but the Phillies decided Willis isn’t worth the trouble at this point. Last season Willis had a 5.00 ERA and 57/37 K/BB ratio in 76 innings for the Reds and combined during the past five seasons he has a 5.65 ERA in 404 innings, albeit all as a starter.

Willis has always been a good-hitting pitcher and, as sad as this sounds, he might want to give hitting a try full time. His odds of returning to the majors and finding success again as a pitcher are slim and dwindling. If he keeps pitching, expect Willis to settle for a minor-league deal somewhere.

  1. eastcoastblows - Mar 16, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    The Phillies and all their fans ____________{fill in expletive laden description}

    • chap6869 - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:36 AM

      The Phillies and their fans -are knowledgable and loyal!

      Eastcoastblows is a complete____________.( fill in expletive laden description))

    • kingbuccaneer - Mar 16, 2012 at 1:50 PM

      are just as bad as scumbag Dodger fans.

  2. phukyouk - Mar 16, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Article stating that the Sox are linked to him in 3…2…1…

    • 12strikes - Mar 16, 2012 at 12:01 PM

      Sox.. No.
      It will be the Nat’inals, they love scoping up the Phillies crap.

      • dwick21 - Mar 16, 2012 at 5:43 PM

        dont worry 12strikes. you will be crying this year when the nats own the phils

  3. mox19380 - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    they took a flier and it crashed and burned. Oh well no harm no foul. The Phillies need infield help not pitching help anyway ….

    • kingbuccaneer - Mar 16, 2012 at 1:53 PM

      “Help” in the infield depth is an understatement. They’re 1 injury away from disaster.

      • mox19380 - Mar 21, 2012 at 9:41 AM

        one injury away? Michael Martinez out with a fracture bone in his foot. And the hits keep coming

  4. Jonny 5 - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    I kind of saw this coming as soon as I heard he was coming on board as the Phills have a minor league LH pitcher in Diekman who can do what Willis does, maybe a bit better. For less money. They still have Bastardo who’s a lefty as well.

  5. makeham98 - Mar 16, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    eastcoastblows is just another small town hick with a chip on his shoulder. probably about 5’3″ tall. enjoy the royals, goober.

  6. druhlman - Mar 16, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Actually (I’m a Tigers fan 100%) I am looking forward to seeing the Royals play this year. Great young talent!

  7. joeflaccosunibrow - Mar 16, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    From the Penthouse, to the Outhouse….Wow!

  8. jimbo1949 - Mar 16, 2012 at 4:38 PM


  9. buffalomafia - Mar 16, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Poor guy! He used to be good.

  10. bbk1000 - Mar 16, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    I like this guy, but he was overhyped. Brandon Webb, a long forgotten often injured guy was much better that year, should have won the rookie of the year without issue.

    While Webb was a joke with the bat Dontrelle could hit and could have looked towards being a DH.

    I hope all goes well…..

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