Results tagged ‘ Dontrelle Willis ’

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.

Willis, Montanez Deals

I know some of you folks like looking at these, so here’s the latest round of contract details:

Dontrelle Willis. $850,000. Plus: $25,000 for five games starts; $25,000 for 10 games started; $50,000 for 15 games started; $50,000 for 20 games started; $100,000 for 25 games started; $100,000 for 30 games staretd; $100,000 for 125 innings pitched; $100,000 for 150 innings pitched; $100,000 for 175 innings pitched; $25,000 for 15 relief appearances; $25,000 for 25 relief appearances; $50,000 for 35 relief appearances; $50,000 for 45 relief appearances; $75,000 for 55 relief appearances; $75,000 for 65 relief appearances; $25,000 for 30 plate appearances as a pinch hitter. Plus: $50,000 for All Star; $100,000 for Cy Young or Rolaids ($75,000-2nd; $50,000-3rd); $25,000 for Gold Glove; $25,000 for Silver Slugger; $100,000 for World SeriesMVP; $50,000 for League Championship Series MVP.

Luis Montanez. Minor League contract for $18,000/month. Agreement for Major League contract for $135,000. $507,000 in Majors. If not on Major League roster on June 1, player will be released if requested. Major League invitation to Spring Training.

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.

Lee Puts Up Zeroes

Cliff Lee threw his fifth shutout of the season last night at AT&T Park. If that seems like a lot, it is. He is one of just four pitchers since 1998 to throw five or more shutouts in a season:

  • A.J. Burnett: five in 2002.
  • Dontrelle Willis: five in 2005.
  • CC Sabathia: five in 2008.

If Lee can throw one more shutout before the end of the season, he would be just the 12th pitcher in the last 30 seasons to throw six or more shutouts:

  • John Tudor: 10 in 1985.
  • Tim Belcher: eight in 1989.
  • Roger Clemens: eight in 1988.
  • Dwight Gooden: eight in 1985.
  • Orel Hershiser: eight in 1988.
  • Roger Clemens: seven in 1987.
  • Steve Carlton: six in 1982.
  • Danny Jackson: six in 1988.
  • Randy Johnson: six in 1998.
  • Tim Leary: six in 1988.
  • Jack Morris: six in 1986.


Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter. Pick up a copy of my book.