Tigers To Designate Dontrelle Willis For Assignment

The Tigers will designate Dontrelle Willis for assignment tomorrow, according to the team's official Twitter feed. The move will free up a roster spot for Max Scherzer, who is being called up to start tomorrow's game.

Willis, still just 28, has been a disappointment since coming over from the Marlins prior to the 2008 season. Overall he posted a 6.86 ERA in 101 innings with the team, including a 4.98 ERA in 43.1 innings this year. He won just two games in a Tigers' uniform, missing time with everything from knee hyper-extension to forearm tightness to anxiety disorder.

The Tigers have ten days to trade, release, or waive the former Rookie of the Year, but are still on the hook for his $12MM salary this season.


51 Responses to Tigers To Designate Dontrelle Willis For Assignment Leave a Reply

  1. Yankees10 5 years ago

    Sad how his carer has turned out

  2. ilikebaseball 5 years ago

    So sad. I hope he finds success somewhere, I’ll be rooting for him.

  3. Sage 5 years ago

    Brewers, get your collective butts in gear and sign him. NOW!

  4. capncasey 5 years ago

    Sad indeed. He had every possible chance in Detroit, possibly more than allot of teams would have probably given him. Any team interested had better either have a magic cure or allot of patience…

    • Yankees420 5 years ago

      Or Dave Duncan.

      • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

        Frankly if Duncan or anyone else effectively fixes this guy, heads need to roll in Detroit. That is a very costly failure.

  5. DJ_2 5 years ago

    It will be interesting to see if anyone will take a flyer on him. I’m sure somebody will look at his past success and take a chance for the league minimum. Maybe a place like St. Louis makes sense. Dave Duncan has a history of turning around pitchers and reviving their careers. My prediction is that, wherever Dontrelle decides to go, by the time September comes around he will eventually figure it out and at least become a decent #5 Starter/Long Relief Man for a contending team that lacks SP.

    • capncasey 5 years ago

      I’ve seen that prediction for 3 years now, at least related to the Tigers. I just don’t see it at this point…

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      Someone will… doesn’t someone sign Mark Prior every year?

  6. CodyG 5 years ago

    big shocker..

  7. Rich G 5 years ago

    I smell rental potential for Red Sox

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      Dear god in heaven no. If he can’t handle the AL Central how on earth will he survive the AL East. If he gets released he should head for the NL… Cards make sense.

  8. j6takish 5 years ago

    Bout time, I miss Nate

  9. Guest 5 years ago

    What happened to him? After 2006, his ERA ballooned but he still had 146 Ks. It’s a shame. Hopefully he can turn it around somewhere else.

  10. AmericanMovieFan 5 years ago

    I smell the A’s picking him up for nothing since they’re all about the salvage cases.

  11. jcrabtree7 5 years ago

    If you take Miguel Cabrera out of that trade, the deal was a bust for both sides.
    DET: D’Willis-sadly derailed

    FLA: Mike Rabelo-played half a MLB year, now back in Tigers farm system
    Andrew Miller-hasn’t lived up to minor league stats
    Cameron Maybin-hasn’t lived up to hype, can’t hit on MLB level

    I could see the Brewers taking a chance, although that hangs on whether or not Chris Capuano is here to stay…again. Or the Cardinals with both Loshe and Penny on the DL.

    • bigpat 5 years ago

      It would be cool if he came back to Florida. They can probably use a bullpen arm and he should be comfortable there.

    • kmborek 5 years ago

      Good thing the only reason Detroit made the trade was to acquire Cabrera, so “taking him out of the trade” makes absolutely no sense. Dontrelle was just a throw-in and any success he would’ve had would’ve just been a bonus.

      The only mistake was resigning him to such an expensive contract before he ever played a game in Detroit. But considering we now have one of the top 5 hitters in the majors who is probably a future HOF’er and only 27 years old I’ll take it.

      Now if the Marlins would just sell us Hanley for a bunch of prospects we would be all set, because Everett doesn’t even belong on a minor league roster right now.

      • jcrabtree7 5 years ago

        No, I wasn’t saying literally “take him outta the trade”, I meant aside from him, it has been a bust for both sides now.

  12. jphenix2002 5 years ago

    too bad for the guy, but he just didn’t have it.

  13. bigpat 5 years ago

    Sad to see his career end up like this. He was an awesome pitcher and just seemed like a cool dude. Not sure what happened. On the surface, his stats don’t look that bad this year, but he has a pretty flimsy K/BB ratio and is struggling to get through 6 innings for the most part.

    Maybe he can start fresh somewhere and he won’t have the burden of being under a big contract, and maybe he can become a relief pitcher. I don’t want to see him out of baseball.

  14. Maybe signs a minor league deal with the dodgers? and honeycutt and torre help him turn it around?

    • Hopefully the Dodgers can sign Dontrelle Willis, He is a guy that has a big upside, and will only cost the league minimum and i believe that going back to the NL it will surely help him.

      • At this point, anyone who is a Dodgers fan should be hoping they’ll sign anyone who can throw a ball for 5+ innings.

    • bobraines 5 years ago

      the challenge is going to be to fix his wind-up. He puts far too much strain on his body, but needs the deception and irregularity to get it by hitters. Maybe not as a starter, but as a one or two inning guy.

  15. I got to meet him twice in a fanfest when he was in a Marlins Uniform and he was just a fun cool guy. I was able to take a picture with him and he even gave me a dounut box with a couple of dounuts left in the box because he wasant able to give them all away. I really hope Dontrelle can turn things around i have always been a fan when he was a Marlin and as a tiger so wherever he goes i will always root for the D-Train.

  16. And on a further note i hope he comes back with that high leg kick in a Marlins Uniform.

  17. kmborek 5 years ago

    If Dontrelle comes back i think it definitely should to be in the NL. Not only because he will face slightly less potent lineups, but the guy can also really hit for a pitcher. I remember joking that when he was pitching in LA a few games ago Leyland should’ve hit him 7th in Detroit’s lineup. (ahead of Laird/Avila and Santiago/Everett)

    It was a half-joke from a Tiger fan frustrated with our current production from the 6-9 hitters, but I think a lot of people forget that he could really hit in Florida, which might make some NL teams more willing to give him a shot.

  18. TytheSportsGuy 5 years ago

    D-Train to StL!

  19. BeatEmBucs 5 years ago

    I’d really like to see the Pirates take a flyer on him. There’s no way he could possibly be any worse than Charlie Morton and a move back to the NL could do wonders for him.

  20. zonis 5 years ago

    I would kind of like the A’s to take a flier on him and put him in the bullpen. Bring Willis back to Oakland, and in the pen he can’t really do much damage, and he might do better since he obviously can’t cut it as a starter anymore.

  21. ELPinchy 5 years ago

    I haven’t followed what went wrong with him in Detroit. Did he lose mph on his fastball? Did he lose movement? Is it that he just hasn’t been able to locate?

    • RestoreTheRoar 5 years ago

      fastball was down when he arrived (high 80s), but came back this spring in low 90’s.

      struggled to reshape his leg kick to help accuracy..lots of balls & walks. His confidence was super low.

      The rare innings showing his improvements, gave way to more control issues in the last few starts. Sometimes effectively wild, sometimes just wild. And i mean WILD. watch his last Det start’s first inning and you can see why they need to release him.

      best of luck to D-Train

    • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

      Poor velocity but more importantly he didn’t even have CONTROL over any of his pitches, let alone command.

  22. Yankeeboy11 5 years ago

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cardinals signed this guy and Dave Duncan did his magic on him.

  23. alxn 5 years ago

    With the way he can hit, maybe he can pull a Rick Ankiel

  24. Dontrelle Willis is a two-pitch starter who can’t throw strikes and hits 90 only good days.

    As much as his herky-jerky motion was fun to watch years back – it has been 5 years since his single dominant season.

    Time to more on – 28 or not, this guy just doesn’t have the tools to make up for his lost deception.

    • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

      Single dominant season? He won rookie of the year in 03, and was 2nd in the Cy voting in 05. Dontrelle was a great pitcher from 2003-2006.

      03-06: 58-39, 3.44 ERA, 2.8 BB/9
      07-10: 12-23, 5.73 ERA, 5.3 BB/9

      • Zack23 5 years ago

        FIP
        2003: 3.45
        2004: 4.01
        2005: 2.99
        2006: 4.31

        So yes, he dominated for 1 season.

  25. What’chu talkin’ about, Willis?

  26. The Mets should sign him and team him up with Ollie Perez to form a mega-useless pitcher tandem. Maybe together they can pitch four innings in a game without a call for the long man.

  27. recentactivity 5 years ago

    I’ve been thinking about this long and hard, being an avid Tiger’s fan. I think Dontrelle, at his peak, was doing steroids. Once the steroid issue became prominant, and MLB started looking closely at people and testing more, his performance, like that of many others, started to drop. He hasn’t been the same since. He was a guy that could simply overpower people. No more. He could be fixed, with the right PED cocktail, I suppose.

    • What are you talking about man dontrelle never overpowered anyone. His high leg kick was very deceptive and helped him keep hitters off balance he only threw about 93 mph. So really his leg kick was what made him effective and when he lost confidence in his herky jerky delivery he was never the same again. So his success is due to his leg kick not PED’s.

    • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

      Steroids make you throw strikes?

    • Zack23 5 years ago

      Steroids dont help you repeat your delivery

  28. he is having issues with mechanics. if he fixes that, he can regain his command. he has showed improvements this year. as some pitchers get older, they must adjust the way they pitch to be successful. 2010 example is zito. don’t give up on the d-train just yet.

  29. gocrazy 5 years ago

    I don’t think the Cards will sign him. Penny should be back before I can see Willis turning it around. I think they’ll live with Walters/Ottavino in the 5th spot.

  30. You can’t seriously believe that, can you?

    Willis was trending downwards in his final two years in Florida before being traded. His failures in Detroit have nothing to do with the pitching coach.

    That being said, I hope he does get another look somewhere, because this would be a sad way to end a career.

  31. The whole problem with Dontrelle is that his age can’t keep up with his delivery.

  32. Yeah, because Beckett is totally lighting the AL East on fire.

  33. I dont know that Boston would be a great fit…..John Farrell hasnt been able to fix Dice-K’s control issues with any kind of consistency. I think since his problem is more mechanics someone like Dave Duncan in STL would give him the best chance to regain success.

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