Reds To Sign Dontrelle Willis

The Reds have agreed to sign Dontrelle Willis to a minor league deal, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. Still just 28, Willis has gone from rookie phenom to ace to trade chip to bust to reclamation project in his eight-year MLB career. The Reds are presumably willing to overlook the control problems Willis has had in recent years because of the promise he showed when he first appeared in the majors in the early 2000s.

The lefty pitched to a 5.62 ERA in 65 2/3 innings with the Tigers and Diamondbacks last year, walking more batters (56) than he struck out (47). In fact, Willis has walked more batters than he has struck out every season since the Marlins traded him to Detroit in December of 2007.

The Tigers designated Willis for assignment last year before trading him to Arizona. After a brief stint with the D'Backs, Willis signed with the Giants, but did not appear in a big league game for San Francisco.


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99 Comments on "Reds To Sign Dontrelle Willis"


gigantes2425
4 years 9 months ago

Sad to see how this guys career turned out.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 9 months ago

indeed…But it’s good to see him sign with a team…And glad it’s the Reds…I guess the Reds just felt they needed to ride the D-Train…I don’t blame em.

bosoque
4 years 9 months ago

As a pitcher?

ludafish
4 years 9 months ago

thats a good question. As funky as his body is he was always very athletic and a good hitter. you never know. as anyone ever tried to be a lefty pinch hitter and lefty specialist? i guess you need to throw strikes before you can do that

bayday5
4 years 9 months ago

he could be a decent .250 hitter

bosoque
4 years 9 months ago

Couldn’t be any worse than Rick Ankiel.

Kaiser_Wilhelm_II
4 years 9 months ago

AWESOME !!!!

I can’t wait to watch Pujols pound him in Great American Ballpark.

Joel Clark
4 years 9 months ago

Pujols who? Votto and company are gonna rock the Cards next year!

HipNip2009
4 years 9 months ago

Except for one series, they rocked them THIS year.

IIMadzII
4 years 9 months ago

Votto’s got a long road ahead of him before he can even come close to eclipsing Pujols’ status.

GriffeyandSizemore
4 years 9 months ago

I loved this guy I’m glad to see he’s getting another chance.

dc21892
4 years 9 months ago

Same here. If he can regain half of his form he can be a quality 3-5 pitcher.

MiamiFan
4 years 9 months ago

Its really sad to see his career turn to nothing. Really hope he can find his stride.

Ferrariman
4 years 9 months ago

did this guy ever roid?

4 years 9 months ago

not that i know of. he gained weight after the roid era. some say that is why his delivery is messed up. he needs to get skinny again for that leg kick to work.

4 years 9 months ago

It amazes me how some of these guys continually get jobs.

4 years 9 months ago

does not hurt to to him to minor league deal. Maybe someone on the Reds knows what his problem is. Minor league deal always worth taking a shot at finding his old form.

Red_Line_9
4 years 9 months ago

The joys of being left handed.

HipNip2009
4 years 9 months ago

That’s seemingly the ONLY reason. Good point.

Red_Line_9
4 years 9 months ago

It’s really just newsless news. Who knows? Willis probably has the connections to call up many teams and ask for a chance. Someone will have to make those starts in AAA….plus he’d be a decent gate draw. Not much lost, and he might contribute to the organization.

IIMadzII
4 years 9 months ago

To an extent, yeah. But he was successful when he was younger. Cy Young candidate and former ROtY. I know this happens to players.. they don’t pan out, but he once was able to pitch pretty dominantly. Kind of mysterious how he went from Cy Young runner up to a .500 pitcher, to a plus 5 ERA in 3 seasons. He always seemed like a good guy so I don’t mind someone like him getting a few more chances.

DetroitTigers24
4 years 9 months ago

Noooooo!!!! Oh God why?!!!

RiverKKiller999
4 years 9 months ago

Cards should have signed him and let Duncan work with him and see what happens.

4 years 9 months ago

For sure! Although Duncan works more with game preparation than mechanics which looks to be what’s wrong with Willis looking at his control issues. He is the miracle worker though so I guess you never know what could’ve been.

Kaiser_Wilhelm_II
4 years 9 months ago

I’d rather see Duncan work with Webb, Rich Hill, Washburn, or mabye like 200 others before Willis.

4 years 9 months ago

Hahahaha! Very true. I really hope they try and sign a guy like Zach Duke. Maybe that’ll light a fire under Lohse and create some more competition for the 5th starter spot.

Kaiser_Wilhelm_II
4 years 9 months ago

I agree…….

Loshe needs to be motivated with competition for his rotation slot….. (screw his contract.)

Zach Duke would be a good one who could be had. I wouldn’t mind shooting a bit higher for someone like Javier Vazquez.

Stl_Great
4 years 9 months ago

We had Rich Hill…

safari_punch
4 years 9 months ago

2011 Stats (projection)

W – 16
L – 4
ERA: 3.68
K:188
BB: 79
WHIP: 1.2899

Kaiser_Wilhelm_II
4 years 9 months ago

^ I doubt it.

Mabye switch the 16 and the 4 and that is more like it.

safari_punch
4 years 9 months ago

You’re probably right.

I would still take him on the cheap over Aaron Harang.

InLeylandWeTrust
4 years 9 months ago

Also swap the strikeouts and walks

safari_punch
4 years 9 months ago

You’re probably right there too.

And the WHIP?

4 years 9 months ago

Projection?? or prediction?

safari_punch
4 years 9 months ago

Projection based on divine intervention.

The_Silver_Stacker
4 years 9 months ago

Flip the wins and the losses as well and double the era

bosoque
4 years 9 months ago

Maybe in his R.B.I. league

4 years 9 months ago

That would be a dream come true if that happen but its really unlikely. The deal was made just to see if they could figure out what the problem is with him the past few years. Maybe they make him into a middle reliever if he is solid this year and then can prove he has something toss him into the back of the rotation after Cordero is gone.

Bernaldo
4 years 9 months ago

That is NOT a projection! An honest projection requires using accurate data and reliable information to estimate an outcome based on measurable factors. Your “2011 Stats” is merely a wild guess.

InLeylandWeTrust
4 years 9 months ago

This is bringing back bad memories…Thank the good lord we got Cabrera with him though.

4 years 9 months ago

What makes everyone think that because they signed him he is going to automatically get thrown into the rotation? For all we know he could be a signing to see if he could be a lefty specialist or start the season in the minors working on his delivery. No way he beats out Bailey/Wood etc unless he dominates spring training.

dc21892
4 years 9 months ago

You make a good point.

4 years 9 months ago

That’s probably what they’re hoping for. This is obviously a low risk / high reward signing. If by some miracle he returns to his old form in spring training I’m sure they won’t have a problem handing him the ball every 5th day. If not, then who cares!? lol

4 years 9 months ago

As a minor league signing, I happen to love it for the Reds. He becomes a project that could pan out in a big way… or basically cost them nothing if he doesn’t.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 9 months ago

His lefty/righty splits are sick.

4 years 9 months ago

he’ll ruin roldy, no doubt.

TartanElk
4 years 9 months ago

He went back to Arizona last year because he said he enjoyed hitting. So, why not just make him the next Ankiel. Teach him how to play 1B/LF/3B (One of them, not all three) and hope something clicks.

bustersposey
4 years 9 months ago

i’d love to see him be the first left handed throwing 3b failed pitching reclamtion project in history…

TartanElk
4 years 9 months ago

I never understood the whole handedness problem. I can’t throw with my right hand to save my life. So being a snotty child, I insisted I be able to throw left-handed and it worked out well playing 3B for me.

CaseyBlakeDeWitt
4 years 9 months ago

You lay a bunt down the third base line, a lefty can never throw out the runner.

TartanElk
4 years 9 months ago

Never, as in 0% chance of that happening in any of the next million years?

CaseyBlakeDeWitt
4 years 9 months ago

Sorry. Not 0% but there is almost no chance they’re going to throw out the runner. I don’t think any team will ever put a lefty at third when their is a righty available to play

martyman24
4 years 9 months ago

Yeah, lefties just do a fancy spin and throw and it would be a web gem every time a left handed 3rd basemen threw threw out a runner that bunted.

But whats the deal with no left handed catchers? I mean i played catcher all my high school years and im a lefty, and i never really found anything that was more difficult for me than it would be for a righty…you get me?

CaseyBlakeDeWitt
4 years 9 months ago

Haha. That play would be quite spectacular if it could be made consistently. Left-handed catchers is because of the throw to third base I believe.

4 years 9 months ago

That, and most hitters are right-handed. They’d get in the way of a left-handed catcher throwing out baserunners.

CaseyBlakeDeWitt
4 years 9 months ago

Good point. Never actually thought of that one.

4 years 9 months ago

That’s one reason the old-school mentality of line-up construction has you batting a lefty in the two hole. One is so that he can pull the ball through the right side of the infield, the other is that he’ll get in the way of the catcher trying to throw out your speedy leadoff man as he’s trying to steal a base.

martyman24
4 years 9 months ago

Yeah okay, i agree with you on that, but o boy was it fun to snap a throw to first base and i found that to be relatively easy as a lefty. Picked a lot of ppl off, so no real need in throwing down to second when there out at first lol jk but good point thanks.

O971
4 years 9 months ago

I used to love watching this guy pitch. He always looked like he was having so much fun playing the game and it would be great to see him get some of that back.

Edit:Just realized how much that looks a Mark Prior post.

dc21892
4 years 9 months ago

You’re telling me. I invested in this kids rookie card and an autographed baseball and everything. Same with Sidney Ponson. It’s irrelevant now :P.

The_Silver_Stacker
4 years 9 months ago

Sidney Ponson, now thats a name that makes my face grimeace

4 years 9 months ago

dontrelle was my favorite pitcher to watch play. he sold me on coming to games, and being a part of what was going on. i only hope they can straighten this kid out. he was too good to be this bad now.

4 years 9 months ago

The Reds would not do that, they would be more likely to attempt to do that to Owings, and Willis is not even close to a big league polished hitter.

bayday5
4 years 9 months ago

been on 4 teams and still sux, wow tough luck. imagine him with the pirates old pitching coach-that is about as bad as a elementary school pitcher in Little League

4 years 9 months ago

If the Reds were smart they would put a call into Mel Queen. Hire him to be a special consultant and have him work with Dontrelle. Queen made Roy Halladay the best in baseball, I’m sure he could help bring Dontrelle back to where he was.

Cory J. Settoon
4 years 9 months ago

Maybe he should just pull a Rick Ankiel.

4 years 9 months ago

he was a good hitting pitcher.

Ferrariman
4 years 9 months ago

well he’s already got a messed up delivery, might as well let Dusty blow up whats left of him.

4 years 9 months ago

ha, beat me to it; I was gonna say that Dusty is going to put him out of his misery…

safari_punch
4 years 9 months ago

Or maybe Chappy McChapperson will show him how to find the strike zone.