Dontrelle Willis Cut By San Francisco Giants
The end of a very short roller coaster career appears to have come to an end on Wednesday when the San Francisco Giants cut ties with minor league pitcher Dontrelle Willis.
Willis, who has not appeared in a MLB game since 2011, will most likely have a very tough time getting another shot at the Majors due to his age and diminishing abilities. Most remember the lefty from the five seasons he spent with the Florida Marlins when he won the 2003 NL Rookie of the Year and was elected to two All-Star games. The “D-Train” as most fans called him, fascinated spectators and confused hitters with his nontraditional pitching motion. The peak on Willis’ career came in 2005 when he posted a record of 22-10, a 2.63 ERA and five shutouts while eating up 236.1 innings.
It was shortly after the 2005 season when the “D-Train” started to derail. While a few factors may have contributed to Willis’ fall from stardom; drop in velocity, big league hitters become familiar with hitting against the lefty, etc. may have lent a helping hand, the biggest factor may have possibly been his lack of control. From 2003-2005 Dontrelle averaged a very respectable 2.7 walks per nine innings for his career. After his Cy Young caliber season in 2005 however, his walks per nine ballooned to average above seven for the remainder of his career.
On January 10, 2014 Willis once again resurfaced in baseball circles when he agreed to a minor league contract with the Giants but after appearing in only two games in AAA the club decided to cut ties with the 32-year-old thus closing the book one of the most fascinating players of the 2000’s. Willis will most likely end his big league career posting a record of 72-69 with a career ERA 4.17.