Derailed: Phillies release Willis

LHP Dontrelle Willis. (Jonathan Ferrey/ Getty Images)

Dontrelle Willis just doesn’t have it in him anymore.

The 30-year-old left-hander was released by the Phillies this morning, opening another spot on their 40-man roster.

Willis, who battled a little bit of arm fatigue last week, had been terrible this spring. He allowed five runs on five hits and four walks in only 2 2/3 innings pitched. That gave him a 16.87 ERA and 3.38 WHIP.

“We felt we had some guys that were probably further along than he was that had a chance to help us,” said pitching coach Rich Dubee.

Even better, Willis didn’t know his contract wasn’t guaranteed. Ryan Lawrence has more:

Willis signed a $850,000 non-guaranteed major league contract in January. If he had stayed on the roster through March 17, he would have been owed one-sixth of that contract.

Earlier this spring, I asked Willis about the nature of pitching on a non-guaranteed contract this spring. His response was surprising: he didn’t know it wasn’t guaranteed.

“You’d have to ask my agent that, I think it’s guaranteed,” a slightly puzzled Willis said last month. “I hope it is. Or else I’ve got to fire him, you know what I mean? I think it’s guaranteed.”

But after thinking about it, Willis seem unconcerned.

“I never look at it. Who cares?” Willis said. “It’s not about the money for me. It’s not like I have one of thee big deals like the starters. That’s irrelevant. I just want to get people out. You know what I mean?”


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