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Category Archives: Dontrelle Willis

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:

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Willis experiences soreness

Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee isn’t too pleased with left-hander relief pitcher Dontrelle Willis for not fully disclosing some soreness in his left arm.

Willis, who did tell Dubee he was sore, said he was able to pitch anyway. Willis went ahead and pitched, giving up four runs in 2/3 of an inning to the Houston Astros.

Willis told reporters after the game that he felt some fatigue in his arm during the 6th inning and may have to back off the next couple of days. He will have it checked out tomorrow.

Willis also went on to tell the reporters that, “I was horse sh*t out there today.”

Brutal honesty. At least Willis was finally honest after the game.

Matt Gelb has more on

Pitching didn’t show up in Phillies loss


Dontrelle Willis and Pat Misch have two things in common today: luck wasn’t on their side.

The two lefties were shelled for a combined eight runs, five earned in their combined 2 2/3 innings of work today. The rest was written in the books as the Phillies dropped to the Houston Astros, 10-3.

Vance Worley made his debut. Hoping to avoid a sophomore slump, Worley wasn’t off to as good a start as the Phillies hoped.

Worley allowed two runs on five hits and a walk without striking out a batter. He threw 40 pitches in his outing.

The Phillies offense was practically non-existent. They were shut out until the 8th inning when Lou Montanez drove in two runs on a double. Hector Luna led off the 9th with a solo home run.

Rollins will continue to represent Philadelphia

That ring alone could have been a reason the Phillies short stop never wanted to leave.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a piece like this was going to be written judging by the name of this website and the logo that graces it ever so beautifully.

That silhouette represents the one person who has played short stop for the Phillies the past 11 seasons. And now, he will continue to man that position for the next three or four years.

Yesterday, the Phillies inked their longest tenured player – and the longest tenured athlete in Philadelphia – Jimmy Rollins to a three-year deal with a vesting option for a fourth year. The deal is worth around $33 million.

But the most interesting and rather important aspect of this signing is the fact Rollins apparently turned down more money and years from the Milwaukee Brewers because he had his sights set on staying in Philadelphia.

That sentiment speaks louder than a lot understand. Just over a year ago, Cliff Lee came to a similar fork in the road.

Should he take the big payday from the New York Yankees or follow his heart down the road towards Philly?

It’s pretty obvious which path Lee took and Rollins, who came to the same crossroads this past month, decided to stick in Philadelphia.

There are a number of factors that played into Rollins’ decision. This was the franchise that drafted him in 1996, gave him his first chance in 2000 and made him the starting short stop in 2001.

This was a city that Rollins called home for over a decade. It was a team Rollins became the unofficial leader of and a fanbase that has associated the demise of the New York Mets to Rollins.

There is also recently signed reliever Dontrelle Willis, who Rollins grew up with in Oakland and remained very close friends with during their time in the major leagues. It will be the first time in their careers they will share a clubhouse and it’s understood that Willis played a small part in talking one of his best friends into playing 162 games together.

And finally, there is the baseball aspect of the deal. The Phillies needed a short stop for next season. Their biggest concern wasn’t so much the bat, seeing as they have put up with Rollins’ inconsistency since 2007.

Instead, it was the defense and the leadership. Most importantly the defense.

Rollins is one of the best fielding short stops in all of baseball. His range and arm make him an incredible asset for the Phillies at short, who with two of the best ground ball pitchers in baseball, need those outs on balls put on the ground.

The baseball aspect of it aside, the marriage between Rollins and the fans, who he once called “frontrunners,” will continue.

The love/hate relationship had more love than history suggests. Yes, there were those who couldn’t stand to see Rollins lead off to only pop up the first pitch or were skeptical after his nagging calf injuries in 2010.

But the good will always out-weigh the bad, even in a city known to boo their star players as a sign of displeasure in their lack of success.

The middle of Rollins’ career was labeled the best decade of Phillies baseball. In 2005, the Phillies won 88 games, their highest total since 1993. Granted they didn’t make the playoffs until a couple of years later, that year marked the beginning.

Then 2007 became the turning point. Rollins not only coined the “We are the team to beat” phrase, he backed up his words with his MVP season.

Playing all 162 games, the only time in his career doing so, Rollins batted .296 and 30 homers while leading the league with 139 runs and 20 triples from the lead off spot.

Though numbers were never seen like that again from Rollins, he was still an integral part of their 2008 World Championship, 2009 pennant winning season and the team’s best franchise record in 2011.

Those are the reasons, along with Chase Utley, that Rollins is associated the most with the best era of Phillies baseball. He will have up to four more years to add to his legacy and maybe one day retire wearing red pinstripes.

But for now, Philadelphia will still be the team to beat, and of course, a part of that reason will be because they have Jimmy Rollins playing short stop.

Official Phillies v Rollins Post

This will be a running thread to update on the Jimmy Rollins situation.

Dec. 15

6:30 PM — Newly signed pitcher Dontrelle Willis believes his good friend Jimmy Rollins will re-sign with the Phillies.

“He was probably more excited about the deal than I was,” Willis said of Rollins.

Willis and Rollins grew up together in Oakland.

Dec. 14

4:22 PM — Contrary to reports yesterday, the rumor that the Tigers were having negotiations with Jimmy Rollins’ agent were false and that the Tigers don’t have the money to sign Rollins.

Dec. 13

5:09 — Jimmy Rollins’ agent Dan Lozano told the Phillies there is a second team interested in Rollins, according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark. Stark said that the Tigers are believed to be that second team.

Dece. 10

2:30 — St. Louis’ deal with Furcal could reach $14 million over two years.

Phillies are the last logical team in on Rollins.

12:26 — Ken Rosenthal reports that the St. Louis Cardinals are near a deal with short stop Rafael Furcal. If he signs there, it’s another suitor out of the race for Jimmy Rollins.

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Phillies sign veteran Willis

Las season, Dontrelle Willis held lefties to a .127 average with a .369 OPS against with a 20-2 K/BB ratio. (Jeffrey Phelps / Associated Press)

It has been confirmed by Matt Gelb that Dontrelle Willis has signed a one-year deal with the Phillies.

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick first reported that the Philadelphia were close to a one-year, $1 million-plus deal (including incentives) with the left-hander pending a physical. Willis will be 30 in January.

The speculation started last night when Shane Victorino tweeted to Willis, “welcome to town homie.”

Willis is by far the most interesting signing of the off season. He could easily be a very effective LOOGY specialist, but that’s a role that Willis has never taken up before in his nine-year career.

The former Rookie of the Year made 13 appearances last season, all of them as a starter. And in 205 career games, 202 of them are starts.

Granted Willis posted a 5.00 ERA in 75 2/3 innings pitched last season with Cincinatti, it’s his splits against the left-handed hitting crowd that impressed the Phillies the most.

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Whatever: Just another game for Cliff Lee

Cliff Lee pitched 8 2/3 shut out innings against the Reds. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

If you could describe tonight’s performance by Cliff Lee, it would be “whatever.”

The effortless way Lee retires hitters. The fact that this was just another game for the left-hander, who has bigger things on his mind. Sniffing a ring the last two years has had Cliff Lee breezing through each team he faces this season, especially with October around the corner.

Lee shrugged his shoulders through another team, this time making the Reds the victim of his nonchalant ways as the Phils shut out the Reds for the second straight time, 3-0.

Lee cruised through 8 2/3 shutout innings, scattering only six hits and a walk while striking out seven. He hasn’t allowed a run in 30 2/3 straight innings on the road. Yea, whatever.

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