D-Train Coming to Philly
The Phillies have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with left-hander Dontrelle Willis, a source confirmed today. The source said the deal is pending a physical and is worth less than $1 million, plus incentives. Willis went 1-6 with a 5.00 ERA in 13 starts last season with the Cincinnati Reds.
Willis could fill a variety of roles for the Phillies. He could compete for a spot in the rotation, although a spot in the bullpen seems much more likely. If everybody is healthy, the Phillies rotation includes Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton and Vance Worley with Kyle Kendrick in the mix. In the bullpen, Willis could be a swingman or left-handed specialist. The Phillies have been looking for a veteran left-hander in the bullpen.
Willis won the 2003 National League Rookie of the Year Award and finished second in the 2005 Cy Young Award voting, but started to battle serious control problems the following season and hasn’t been the same pitcher since. But Willis also had fantastic splits against lefties last season. They hit just .127/.169/.200 against him in 55 at-bats, making a lefty specialist role look like a good spot for him.