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Dontrelle Willis joins the Angels on a Minor League deal

Aug 4, 2013, 8:45 PM EDT

MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez with the news:

Willis last pitched in the Majors in 2011 with the Reds, posting a 5.00 ERA in 73.2 innings over 13 starts. It has been a long and He signed with the Phillies for the 2012 season, but he was released during spring training. Shortly thereafter, Willis signed with the Orioles on a Minor League deal. He and the O’s organization disagreed on his usage, with Willis wanting work as a starter. He suffered a forearm strain, and subsequently announced his retirement in July.

The Cubs signed Willis to a Minor League deal in January. He threw seven pitches in a spring training appearance before leaving with a shoulder injury. The club ultimately released him, allowing him to sign with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League. Willis, now 31 years old, posted a 2.57 ERA in 87.2 innings over 14 starts in the independent league.

  1. bchapman2011 - Aug 4, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    Hard to believe this guy is only 31. Seems like he has been around forever. Too bad he lost his skill set after his rookie season.

    • cohnjusack - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:14 PM

      I know! What did that guy ever accomplish after his rookie season!*

      Sarcasm, as he was Cy Young runner up his third year in the league and pasted a 4.1 WAR in his fourth. THEN it all went to hell.

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      • joeflaccosunibrow - Aug 5, 2013 at 6:10 AM

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  2. moonlandingwasfaked - Aug 4, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    I will always be a fan of this guy. I really hope he can somehow put it back together and find at least a little bit of success at the major league level again.

  3. aintthenazz - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    Seriously, this guy has 9 lives!

    • hittfamily - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:09 PM

      He drinks and drives, so he’ll need em.

      • blacksables - Aug 5, 2013 at 6:59 AM

        So do 50% of the people you actually know.

  4. mirmz - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    If this doesn’t right the Angels’ ship, nothing will.

  5. hittfamily - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    He retired in July, and went back to work in January.

    Freaking Obama.

  6. thepancakebandit - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    I feel for the guy. He keeps poking his head up and then ultimately failing again…

    I’d love to see him make a true comeback and all, but I just don’t see it happening.

  7. cohnjusack - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    His K/BB ratio ranked 89th out of 100 total pitchers this year… in the Atlantic league!.

    For some perspective, former Astros outfielder Jason Lane is currently pitching in the Atlantic League and is 8-3 with a 2.80 ERA, and a 3.69 K/BB ratio. Willis is 5-4 with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.21 K/BB ratio.

    • carpi2 - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:36 PM

      Interesting fact. How did you find this out?

      • cohnjusack - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:40 PM

        You know how Baseball Reference was always really awesome?

        It’s gotten far awesomer in recent years. Willis’s Atlantic League stats were listed in his minor league records. When I checked out the performers in the league, I saw Jason Lane as a pitcher. I assumed it was a different Jason Lane…but turns out it’s not!

        BTW, Jason Lane recently signed a minor league deal with the Padres and is in AAA. Frankly, I think that’s a waaaay more interesting story than someone signing Dontrelle Willis.

  8. tanzkommandant - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    “It has been a long and He signed with the Phillies for the 2012 season…”

    Come again?

  9. coloradogolfcoupons - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    The sad fact for the Angels is that Willis could probably step right into their rotation, right now, and no matter how bad he pitches, be an improvement. They have 5 or 6 finalists for the bullpen Firestarter Of The Year Award, and Mark Pryor is licking his chops eying another comeback attempt. The biggest rumor is that Arte Moreno is prepared to lure Mariano Rivera out of retirement this winter with a 10 year, $300 million offer, knowing he will get better ROI with Mo at 52 than Pujols and Hamilton combined, although admittedly that is not setting the bar very high. Arte also has scouts out scouring the drug rehab and mental institutions for Steve ‘8-Ball’ Howe and John ‘Off His’ Rocker in a final attempt to upgrade the pen for a playoff push. When asked if Howe and Rocker might upset team chemistry, Moreno replied “Chemistry is what we lack….but I left a message with A-Rod to try to take care of that little problem”

    • jwbiii - Aug 4, 2013 at 10:15 PM

      Rocker is at somewhat of an advantage over Howe, given that he’s still alive. Howe rolled his truck in Coachella in 2006 and was killed. It was in April, so I assume it had something to do with Coachella Music Festival. And before you ask, yes, he had drugs (meth) in his system.

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 4, 2013 at 11:50 PM

        he died before Coachella started that year. LA Times says he was returning home from Arizona for business.

      • jwbiii - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:36 AM

        Howe was living in Lake Havasu City, AZ and working as a construction framer. I figured that if he wasn’t in Coachella for the music, he might have been there working on whatever structures were needed for the festival.

  10. thomas844 - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    They should make him a DH. I’m not even kidding, the guy can hit. He would be better than Hamilton.

  11. Russell Cecala Jr - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    Not expecting much from Willis if he argues over his usage again. He needs to realize this isn’t 2005 and that he won’t be a top 3 starter. Who knows if he will make it to the show again, but I would love to see it happen.

  12. norvturnersneck - Aug 4, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    Would be an upgrade over Jerome Williams and many others on Angels’ staff if called up with some stuff.

    Hard to believe though with his inability the last few years though.

  13. km9000 - Aug 4, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    Even if he got called up, I have zero faith in Mike Butcher that he’ll be able to get the most out of him. But Sosh would keep putting him out there, because, “OMG veteran”!

  14. dirtyharry1971 - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    He would fit right in with the Jays, trust me they need this guy

  15. joeflaccosunibrow - Aug 5, 2013 at 6:12 AM

    Future Headline: Angels Release D-train

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