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What the heck is going on with Dontrelle Willis?

Apr 23, 2012, 8:23 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

UPDATE: Well, this is going on with him.

8:23 AM: The Phillies cut Dontrelle Willis in spring training and he signed a minor league deal with the Orioles. He had been on the minor legaue disabled list with the O’s, but rather than activated when that was over, the Orioles put him on the restricted list.

What gives, Steve Melewski of MASN?

When asked if Willis is healthy enough to pitch now, a club official said, “Yes,” but would not comment on exactly why Willis is on the restricted list. I’ll make an assumption here that everything is not smooth for some reason right now between Willis and the club …

That’s a little troubling. And it can’t help but make one remember that he missed a lot of time with the Tigers over some strange, non-specific anxiety disorder that, at various times, Willis said he didn’t have but which compelled the team to put him on the DL and/or the restricted list anyway.

Is this that again? Something else? It’s nothing we’d care that much about with most any other player, but with Willis — an engaging, colorful player who went from so good to so bad so quickly — I can’t help but wonder and can’t help but be concerned.

  1. bigleagues - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Watching the D-Train pitch last year – he was getting raves in his MiLB rehab Starts. I even watched a few of those online and he was showing flashes of his oldself. Physically he has never been in better shape.

    His first few starts for the Reds last year continued to show progress and promise, then the wheels started to come off again and I can’t help but think ALL if not most of his troubles are in his head.

    Not being able to get it done at the highest level because of physical limitations is one thing . . . but when its mental its got to be twice as frustrating both for the player and the team. Physical deterioration you can’t really fix (unless you’re Bartolo Colon) but mental you’d think can be fix . . . unless you’re Dontrelle Willis. Let’s hope that isn’t the case.

  2. nflfollower - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    To this headline I am forced to respond with simply——more of the same

  3. Spiro Agnew - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    my guess is that dontrelle is just what the orioles need to turn it around and become a serious contender

  4. eutawstreetblues - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    I heard he’s unhappy with the team because they want to use him in relief, while he wants to start. Since the team signed him to potentially be a left handed specialist, I don’t know why he’d be surprised that the team wants him to work in relief. The guys got some mental issues.

    • Old Gator - Apr 23, 2012 at 3:06 PM

      You “heard” this? From who, some “reliable source” thirdhand via the sports press? Oh yeah, that’d be sufficiently conclusive evidence for a capital conviction, wouldn’t it? Howsabout verifying your information before jumping to noxious conclusions like “the guy’s got some mental issues”? It’s not like, insofar as mere discriminating intelligence is a “mental issue” itself, you don’t have a few of your own, you know?

      • eutawstreetblues - Apr 23, 2012 at 4:31 PM

        Wow man. Talk about anger problems. Relax buddy.

        I didn’t recall where I had seen it at the time, but after going back and researching just for you…the Orioles beat writer from MASN Roch Kubatko tweeted that he heard Dontrelle was not happy pitching in relief. Good enough for you? I’d post a link but I can’t get on twitter from work.

        And as to the question of Dontrelle having mental problems, Dontrelle left the AAA Norfolk team today without permission. Just straight up walked out on the team. Does that sound like someone that’s mentally stable? John Heyman reported this one. I’m sure Craig will have a post on it soon. Is that one good enough for you?

      • Old Gator - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:49 PM

        No argument, I blew this one bigtime. My apologies.

        But look at it this way: blown calls are just a part of the game. My record is still a lot better than Joe West’s.

  5. addictedzone - Apr 23, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    If Dontrelle was brought out of the bullpen to pitch to Hank Blalock in the 2003 All Star game the Nationals would have won, proving that Dusty Baker didn’t realize that Willis was a left handed specialist even then.

  6. stlouis1baseball - Apr 23, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Probably a racist thing. Similar to the Torii Hunter burglar alarm deal.

  7. jwbiii - Apr 23, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Jon Heyman says Dan Duquette says Willis went AWOL.

    Duquette to CBSSports.com confirmed Willis left the team without permission

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/jon-heyman/18790420/willis-said-to-leave-team-wo-permission-duquette-still-wants-him-for-pen

    “Duquette to CBSSports.com confirmed. . .” sounds like Heyman has been watching old Star Wars movies.

    • eutawstreetblues - Apr 23, 2012 at 4:35 PM

      Gator – read this link. You’ll see the all the confirmation you want.

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 23, 2012 at 4:48 PM

        You will have to forgive Gator. Dontrelle is a former Marlin. Enough said.

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