Derailed: Phillies release Willis
March 16, 2012
Posted by on
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?”