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Fresno Grizzlies add Dontrelle Willis to active roster

Apr 12, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates Getty Images

The Giants signed Dontrelle Willis to a minor league deal back in January and the Fresno Grizzlies, the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate, have added the lefty to their active roster, per the Grizzlies’ Twitter account.

Willis, 32, hasn’t pitched in the Major Leagues since 2011, but it hasn’t been for a lack of trying. Going into the 2012 season, Willis signed a minor league deal with the Phillies, but he was released during spring training. The Orioles grabbed him, and he made four appearances with Triple-A Norfolk. Willis announced his retirement on July 2, but he wouldn’t stay retired for long.

The Cubs signed Willis to a minor league deal in January 13, but Willis injured his shoulder in his first spring start and the Cubs released him. The Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League signed him in April and he had good results, though against markedly inferior competition. Willis made the Atlantic League All-Star team, and the Angels signed him to a minor league deal in August. He posted more poor results at Triple-A.

Willis won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 2003 with the Marlins, and finished second in NL Cy Young voting in 2005. His quirky mechanics soon caused control issues, leading to his star falling quickly. During his prime, he was one of baseball’s most interesting players and he was a lot of fun to watch.

  1. chris3141084 - Apr 12, 2014 at 11:23 PM

    One of the best hitting pitchers too.

  2. elpendejo59 - Apr 12, 2014 at 11:39 PM

    I Hope he makes it back. What a great guy. I worked for a major retailer in West Palm Beach, FL in the spring of 04. I got sent to the Marlins clubhouse to make a delivery of electronics to Andre Dawson and Al Leiter and looked for the Clubhouse Manager, Mr. Silverman. He was not available, so Dontrelle let me in. He brought me in, shot the breeze with me for 20-30 minutes, gave me a hat, and then assured me the goods would make it to the intended destinations. He gave me a tour and all. Such a nice guy. I will continue to root for him through every comeback. He told me, “you may never be back in here” and he was right. And he knows how fleeting the bigs are. Go, Dontrelle.

  3. paulydefense - Apr 13, 2014 at 12:36 AM

    he da trillest

  4. 4d3fect - Apr 13, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    Hope he enjoys those early August gametime temperatures of around 112 degrees. If he lasts that long.

    • bigdicktater - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      If he somehow does well he may be in San Francisco by August.

  5. greej1938l - Apr 13, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    Love the guy too. Wish him the best

  6. xmatt0926x - Apr 13, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    Oh no. Dontrelle, please stop.

  7. rbj1 - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    Best of luck to him.

  8. Barry's Triceps - Apr 13, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    Guy was a slugger! Too bad he didnt juice up like Rick ankiel and become a position player.

  9. musketmaniac - Apr 14, 2014 at 6:30 PM

    Sad, him in Kerry wood, amongst others who never got to finish their careers, correctly.

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