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Cubs release Dontrelle Willis and former first-round pick Hayden Simpson

Mar 30, 2013, 1:47 PM EDT

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Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Cubs have released left-hander Dontrelle Willis and right-hander Hayden Simpson.

Willis came out of retirement to attempt a comeback this spring, but he had to leave his first appearance on February 25 due to shoulder tightness and didn’t pitch in another Cactus League game. This could be the end of the road for him.

While we ask what could have been with Willis, Simpson never was able to match the hype attached to being the No. 16 overall pick in 2010. It wasn’t all his fault, as the Cubs overdrafted him because they weren’t willing to spend on higher quality talent. While a lengthy bout with mononucleosis didn’t do any favors for his development, Simpson posted an ugly 6.42 ERA over 30 starts and 26 relief appearances with Chicago’s minor league system.

Michael Brenly, the son of former Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly, was also given his release today. The 26-year-old backstop owns a .251/.306/.334 batting line over five seasons in the minors.

  1. Jeremiah Graves - Mar 30, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    How many times have we declared it “the end of the road” for Willis now?! At least half-a-dozen, right?!

    I think he’ll keep getting shots as long as he keeps showing up to camp with a left arm than can throw a projectile toward a big slab of cow hide. Granted, we may be reaching the point where he’s no longer got that one requirement in his bag of tricks.

    It’s too bad. The D-Train was one helluva lot of fun to watch when he came up with the Marlins. Time to try a comeback as a pinch hitter?

  2. UgglasForearms - Mar 30, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Yeah with the Marlins. After that I don’t recall him being very effective. Maybe it’s just all the times I saw him get rocked.

  3. coryfor3 - Mar 30, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Simpson was a mistake from the get go

    • misterchainbluelightning - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:05 PM

      Just like Vitters and many other Cubs picks

      • Alex K - Mar 31, 2013 at 12:11 PM

        Eh. Vitters wasn’t an overdraft, at all. He’s just never developed even a little plate discipline. There are bad draft choices (Simpson) and guys who don’t develop like people thought they would (Vitters).

      • misterchainbluelightning - Mar 31, 2013 at 12:23 PM

        3rd overall for Vitters isn’t an overdraft?


      • mgdsquiggy17 - Mar 31, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        Hindsight sure is great

  4. Richard - Mar 30, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Can’t help but wonder if the older Brenly were still announcing for the Cubs whether Brenly the younger would have been cut. Payback?

  5. Minoring In Baseball - Mar 30, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    I give Willis credit for trying to keep his career going. He did nothing after being traded to the Tigers, but Detroit gave up Andrew Miller, who was a bust, too.

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