Willis Struggles, Has Sore Arm

This is not how Dontrelle Willis wanted to open Spring Training with the Phillies.

He allowed three hits, four runs and two walks in just 2/3 inning today in a 10-3 loss to the Astros. He said afterward he has some soreness in his left arm, although he does not believe it is serious.

“My arm just felt fatigued out there today,” said Willis, who has allowed four runs in just 1 2/3 innings in two Grapefruit League appearances. “I need to go out there and battle and make better pitches. But I’ll be all right. I just need a day. I’m really frustrated with my location, but if you’re tired, you’re tired. That’s the bottom line.”

A good spring is important for Willis, who is fighting for a bullpen job. Theoretically, Willis might have an advantage over other pitchers in camp because he is a veteran left-hander, but he does not have a guaranteed contract like Chad Qualls, Jose Contreras or Kyle Kendrick, so the Phillies do not need to give him a chance at the beginning of the season if they do not feel he can help the team.

If Willis makes the team it likely will be as a left-handed specialist. Lefties are 1-for-3 against him this spring, while right-handers are 4-for-7 with three walks.

“We’re going to take the best team possible,” Rich Dubee said. “Again, I don’t see any reason to have a second lefty if he’s not better than the righty before him. If he can’t get anybody out, what kind of look is that? Really. What kind of look is it? The fact of the matter is how servicable are they? That’s what we’re looking for. How do they fit in the mixer of the whole bullpen? I don’t care if he’s lefty or righty, who is the most effective guy?”

Willis said he isn’t concerned, but he knows he needs to do better.

“I was just horse—- today,” Willis said. “You take that for what it is, but you have to be smart about it, too. I’m trying to help the ballclub here and that’s not going to get it done. If I’m tired, then I’m tired. As an athlete, you have to humble yourself that hey, you went out there and tried and now let’s reel you in and get you right.”


Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!
Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • April 2: Barnes & Noble in Plymouth Meeting, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 3: Chester County Book Company in West Chester, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.


I’m still rooting for Dontrelle to make the team. I’d really like to see him showing signs of the old D-Train, but it’s beginning to look like that engine’s been decommisioned :o(

What’s the “Old D-Train?” He had one great year.

But five decent years. Wouldn’t the Phillies settle for the same?

the stupid thing changed my “sad face” to a smily face……


Yeah… I’d like the D-train to make the club… But my D-train is named Diekman, not Dontrelle. Willis has been brutal since the 1st Dubya administration.

Dontrelle Willis didn’t have “five decent years”. He had an excellent rookie season and an near-Cy Young in his third year. Other than that? Not much. When Dontrelle Willis was 26 years old, he had just come off a season where he was arguably the worst starting pitcher in the NL. Since 2005, he has been an oft-injured mediocrity. All evidence points to the end of a career. Too bad, as he is a character and very popular in the clubhouse.
You know pherris, you can look this stuff up.

Whether or not Willis had “five decent years” is my opinion. Take out the horrible year to which you refer, what are we left with? How about four good years including ROY, WS ring and a 22 win season. Even in 2005, when he was the worst pitcher in the NL according to the Book of QuarterWhit, Chapert 1, Verse 1. he led the league with 35 games started.

So, the number of games Willis started in 2005 is the only stat you gleaned from the information available? I have to laugh.

Willis making the team is a great Purim Joke. (if you don’t know what Purim is, look it up).

Perhaps Willis was celebrating Purum? By the charitable act (mattanot la-evyonim) of pitching batting practice to the Astros.


QuarterWhit, what about Willis’ four good years? What say you? What is really interesting here is that during the five years involved, Willis pitched 1022 innings.

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phan52 and muleman, “Old” refers to a long time ago; “D-Train” refers to the time the guy was unhittable. I won’t apologize for being more specific about who it was that I wanted to see make the Phils openingday roster. You guys are just sitting back waiting to attack any comment that you feel shows a “lack of baseball knowledge” I disagree with Pherris a lot, but recently I like reading what he posts MUCH MORE than the arrogant posts you two guys make.

Arrogant? Because we have to school high-horse pherris on his lack of knowledge?
Bizarro world.

You have schooled pherris? You continue to be a legend in your own mind or perhaps in the mind of your twin brother QuarterWhit, as well.

Wow, so I’m arrogant for pointing out statistics? That’s strange. I’m as big a Willis fan as there is (once bought front row seats at the Vet to watch him pitch) and even I can admit that the guy might be a reclamation project.
He was unhittable for one year.

Pointing out statistics, spelling, grammar. You are probably the singular reason there are so few posters on this site when compared to the number of lurkers.

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