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 Dontrelle Willis | P

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PostSubject: Dontrelle Willis | P   Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:02 am

Dontrelle Willis | P

  • Full Name: Dontrelle "D-Train" Wayne Willis
  • Born: January 12, 1982 in Oakland, CA
  • Height: 6' 4''
  • Weight: 225
  • Bats: Left
  • Throws: Left
  • College: N/A
  • MLB Debut: May 9, 2003


He, his wife Natalee and daughters Adrianna Rose (4/24/07) and Bianca (7/18/08) reside in Aventura, FL during the offseason.

...Graduated from Encinal High School in California in 2000 -- named the California High School Player of the Year following his senior season after he finished 10-1 with a 0.70 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 70.0 innings pitched.

...Was Florida's nominee for the 2005 Roberto Clemente Award.

...Participated in Strikeouts For Troops in both 2006 and 2007, donating $100 for each strikeout he recorded.

...Actively participates in the Detroit Tigers Autographed Memorabilia Donation Program, is a financial supporter and active participant of Play Baseball Detroit, sponsored youth baseball teams during the annual Negro Leagues Weekend, funded a field construction project at the Lloyd H. Diehl Boys and Girls Club of Detroit to be named Dontrelle Willis Park, attended and sponsored several families from area pediatric hospitals to attend "Keeping Kids in the Game" and participated in the Tigers Winter Caravan.

2000 Highlights

Went 3-1 with a 3.86 ERA in nine games (one start) with the Cubs in the Rookie-level Arizona League.

... collected a win in his first outing, 2.0 relief innings at the Athletics, allowing one hit.

... took his first career loss on July 28 against the Mexican All-Stars, allowing five runs (four ER) in 4.0 innings.

... fanned a season-high five Padres on July 21, his lone start of the season.

2001 Highlights

Pitched for Short-Season A Boise in the Northwest League and won eight of his 10 decisions with a 2.98 ERA in 15 starts.

... was a Northwest League All-Star as he led the league in innings pitched, second in wins and game starts, fifth in batting average allowed (.217) and eighth in ERA.

... fanned a season-high nine batters in his August 15 win vs. Yakima.

... selected by Baseball America as the sixth-best prospect in the Northwest League.

2002 Highlights

Named Sports Weekly Minor League Pitcher of the Year, a Midwest League Baseball America Class A All-Star and a Midwest League All-Star in his first season in the Marlins system.

... posted a combined 12-2 record with a 1.83 ERA in 24 games (all starts).

... went 10-2 with a 1.83 ERA in 19 games with Kane County.

... ranked first in the league in ERA, second with two shutouts and third in complete games.

... made his Jupiter debut on July 27 vs. Daytona and went 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five game starts.

... was named the Marlins' Organizational Pitcher of the Month for May (3-2, 1.45 ERA) and June (4-0, 0.75 ERA).

... was the Midwest League Player of the Week for June 3-9, as he went 1- 0 with a 0.00 ERA in two games, collecting 10 strikeouts in 13.0 innings pitched.

... collected wins in four straight starts, April 25-May 12, allowing one unearned run on 11 hits in 24.2 innings.

... included a 6.0-inning no-hit performance on May 1 vs. Beloit.

... fanned a career-high 11 batters in his 8.0 inning effort on June 14 vs. Michigan, his first career double-digit strikeout contest.

... went on the DL on August 21 with a left shoulder strain.

... combined to go 11-0 at home (9-0 with Kane County and 2-0 with Jupiter) with a 1.25 ERA (15 ER in 108.0 IP).

... named the fourth-best prospect in Florida's system.

2003 Highlights

Named the National League Rookie of the Year and was the winner of the Larry Doby Award (NL Rookie of Year) by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, as he set the Marlins single-season record for wins by a rookie and finished tied for the team lead with 14 victories (14-6, 3.30 ERA) in 27 starts.

... selected to the NL All-Star team, replacing injured LA RHP Kevin Brown.

... went 9-1 with a 2.08 ERA in his 13 outings prior to the Break.

... was the youngest NL All-Star since STL's Pujols in 2001 and youngest All-Star pitcher since NYM's Dwight Gooden in 1985.

... overall, ranked as the 11th youngest pitcher named to an All-Star team.

... joined the Marlins on May 9, when he was selected from AA Carolina, replacing the injured Josh Beckett.

... made his Major League debut that night, facing Colorado and collecting a ND (6.0 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 2 BB, 7 SO).

... fanned Preston Wilson to lead off the 2nd inning for his first Major League strikeout.

... collected his first Major League win in his second start, May 14 at San Diego, as he allowed three runs on five hits in 5.0 innings.

... was 1-1, 7.07 over his first three starts before posting an 8-0 record with a 1.05 ERA (8 ER in 68.1 IP) over his next 10 starts (May 25-July 13), including wins in seven consecutive starts (May 25-June 26).

... became the first rookie since NYM's Isringhausen in 1995 to win seven straight starts, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

... he also became one of four pitchers since 1920 to win eight of his first 10 starts before the age of 22, joining LHP Fernando Valenzuela (with LA in 1981), RHP Mark Fidrych (with DET in 1976) and RHP Paul Dean (with STL in 1934).

... collected nine wins in 10 decisions, the first rookie to win nine of 10 decisions since LA's Kazuhisa Ishii in 2002.

... won eight straight decisions, the first rookie to do so since LA's Matt Herges in 2000.

... tied the Marlins rookie record for wins, previously held by Brian Meadows (11-13 in 1999) when he notched his 11th on August 6 at St. Louis (3 ER, 8.0 IP).

... set the new standard with his 12th win on September 7 over the Expos in Puerto Rico (R, 3 H in 7.0 IP).

... was named the Pepsi National League Pitcher and Rookie of the Month for June as he went 5-0 with a 1.04 ERA in five starts.

... became the first player ever to win both awards in the same month since the Rookie of the Month award was instituted in 2001.

... also became the first rookie to win NL Pitcher of the Month since LA's Hideo Nomo in June of 1995.

... was named the Pepsi NL Co-Player of the Week for June 16-22, as he shared the honor with Arizona RHP Jose Valverde.

... earned Florida's 17th Player of the Week Award and the sixth by a pitcher.

... was the first Marlins rookie to be named Player of the Week.

... tossed a one-hit complete-game shutout against the Mets on June 16, the first Marlins rookie to toss a one-hitter (8th in FLA history, 5th by single pitcher).

... became the first rookie to allow one hit or less in a CG since STL's Bud Smith no-hit SD on September 3, 2001.

... at 21 years, 155 days old, was the youngest pitcher to toss a one-hitter since Toronto's Roy Halladay one-hit Detroit on September 27, 1998.

... threw consecutive complete-game shutouts on June 16 vs New York (NL) and June 21 vs. Tampa Bay, the first Marlins rookie to toss back-to-back CG game shutouts and the first rookie pitcher to toss consecutive CG shutouts since TB's Rolando Arrojo on April 30 (at MIN) and May 6, 1998 (at KC).

... took his first Major League loss on May 20 at Montreal, allowing five runs in 3.0 innings.

... the loss ended a 13-game winning streak that spanned 22 starts, back to June 3, 2002.

... was his first defeat since May 24, 2002 (at Peoria); had a 13-game winning streak when he went 6-0 to finish his stint at Class A Kane County, 2-0 with Class A Jupiter (both in 2002), his six starts (4-0) at AA Carolina in 2003 and his first Major League win.

... collected a hit in 13 of his 27 starts, including 10 of his last 18.

... hit his first career home run on May 31 off Cincinnati's Danny Graves.

2004 Highlights

Made a career-high and team-best 32 starts and posted a 10-11 record with a 4.02 ERA in a career-best 197.0 innings pitched.

...finished second to Carl Pavano for the team lead in wins and strikeouts (139).

...set career highs in losses, ERA and walks (61).

...Posted the 23rd double-digit win season in team history with his home victory over the Expos on September 16. one of eight Marlins pitchers to post multiple 10-plus win campaigns (with Brown, Burnett, Dempster, Leiter, Meadows, Pavano and Penny) and one of seven to do it in consecutive seasons.

...became the second Marlin to post the double-digit wins seasons in each of his first two Major League seasons, with Brian Meadows (11-13 in 1998, 11-15 in 1999).

...The Marlins went 15-17 in Willis' 32 starts. the 15 wins, posted a 2.36 ERA and a .247 BAA. the 17 losses, posted a 5.71 ERA and .299 BAA.

...Began the season with a 3-0 record and a 0.00 ERA, allowing one unearned run on 13 hits in 19.1 IP (.178 BAA).

...did not allow a run in his first 15.2 innings before the Phillies tallied an unearned run in the fourth inning on April 20 at Citizens Bank Park.

...Allowed his first earned run in the first inning on April 25 vs. Atlanta.

...became the last qualifying starter in the Majors to allow an ER.

...overall, had not allowed an ER in 27.1 IP, with the last ER allowed coming in the third inning on September 23, 2003 vs. Philadelphia.

...After beginning his year 3-0 in his first five starts, went 7-11 with a 4.22 ERA, allowing a .278 BAA.

...Tossed two complete games on the year: May 12 at Houston and June 13 at Detroit.

...against the Astros, allowed two runs on six hits (2 BB, 1 SO). his outing at Detroit, allowed two earned runs on seven hits while striking out eight.

...On June 2 vs. Cincinnati, tossed 6.2 innings of perfect baseball before Sean Casey broke up his bid with a two-out single to left field.

...had a ND in that game, as he went 8.0 innings and allowed one run on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts.

... Struck out a career-high 10 batters in 7.1 innings in a 2-0 loss to Milwaukee on August 8.

...previously fanned nine batters in a game twice in 2003: September 18 at Philadelphia and May 25 at Cincinnati.

...matched a career-high four walks five times: April 14 at Montreal, May 18 vs. Houston, June 24 vs. Atlanta, September 11 at Chicago (NL) and September 21 vs. Philadelphia.

...Pitched shutout ball (5.0 IP or more) nine times during the year and allowed double-digit hits just twice: 11 on May 18 vs Houston and 10 on August 30 at New York (NL).

...Compiled a 5-7 record at home with a 3.82 ERA (.261 BAA).

...went 5-4 with a 4.22 ERA in 16 road starts.

...began the year 4-0 with a 2.78 ERA in his first six road games before going 1-2 with a 4.97 ERA in his final six road starts (.400 BAA).

...suffered his first road loss of the year on July 24 at Montreal, when he allowed three runs (two ER) on three hits in 6.0 innings.

...that loss ended a five-game road winning streak over 10 games and was his first road defeat since August 28, 2003 at Pittsburgh.

...Allowed a .273 batting average to opposing hitters, including a .205 mark to left-handers and .287 mark to right-handers.

...allowed leadoff hitters a .233 batting average and .262 on-base percentage.

...On August 30 at New York (NL), allowed a career-high three home runs and led the Marlins staff by allowing 20 on the season.

...did not allow a home run in his last three starts, covering 20.0 innings.

...Began the season with two 3x3 hitting games, April 8 vs. Montreal and April 14 vs. the Expos in Puerto Rico, with a homer and three RBI.

...became the third Marlins pitcher to collect three hits in a game (with Chris Hammond on July 13, 1995 at LA and Terry Mathews on June 20, 1995 at COL).

...collected seven consecutive hits, back to 2003, the second-most consecutive hits by a pitcher in the last 30 years, behind Livan Hernandez (eight in 2001 with SF).

...finished one hit from matching the Marlins' club record for consecutive hits by any player (eight), held by Gary Sheffield (September 17-18, 1995) and Preston Wilson (May 12-15, 2001).

...including the 2003 postseason, went 10x10 with a walk in his last 11 plate appearances.

...Went 3x8 as a pinch-hitter, collecting the most pinch-hits by a pitcher in the last 17 years.

...since 1974, only Dan Schatzeder (1986 with Montreal and Philadelphia) had more pinch-hits by a pitcher.

...Willis is tied on the list with Ken Brett, who went 3x15 as a PH for Pittsburgh in 1974.

2005 Highlights

In third season with the Marlins, established himself as one of the premier pitchers in the Majors, boasting a 22-10 record with a 2.63 ERA.

... set single-season highs in wins (22), complete games (7), shutouts (5), games started (34), strikeouts (170) and innings pitched (236.1).

... led Majors in wins (22) and shutouts (5), while tying for first in complete games with seven (Chris Carpenter).

... his 2.63 ERA was third-best in the Majors, behind Roger Clemens (1.87) and Andy Pettitte (2.39).

... Finished in second-place behind Chris Carpenter in 2005 National League Cy Young Award voting, joining Kevin Brown as the only Marlins pitchers to finish as high as second in the balloting (Brown finished second in 1996).

... voted the 2005 Florida Marlins Most Valuable Player by the South Florida chapter of the BBWAA.

... named the Florida Marlins nominee for the 2005 Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to the MLB player who combines outstanding skills on the baseball field with work in the community.

... His 22 wins were the most-ever by a Marlins pitcher, the most in the Majors since 2003 (Roy Halladay, 22-7), and the most in the NL since 2002 (Randy Johnson, 24-5; Curt Schilling, 23-7).

... tied the franchise single-season record for games started with 34, set by Charlie Hough in 1993 and matched by Ryan Dempster in 2001.

... came 1.0 inning shy of matching Kevin Brown's single-season franchise record for innings pitched with 237.1, which Brown established in the 1997 season.

... Led the Majors with five shutouts, the most by a pitcher under the age of 24 since 1985 (Dwight Gooden, eight shutouts at age 20).

... Willis is one of only four pitchers younger than 24 since 1975 to throw at least five shutouts in a season, joining Gooden, Frank Tanana (five shutouts for the 1975 Angels at age 22) and Fernando Valenzuela (eight shutouts for the 1981 Dodgers at a listed age of 20).

... Began the season with a 7-0 mark and 1.08 ERA in first seven starts, including three complete-game shutouts.

... became just the second Marlins pitcher to begin season with a 7-0 record (Livan Hernandez, 9-0 to start 1997).

... became the first Marlins pitcher to win five games and throw three complete games in April.

... became just the second pitcher since 1993 to toss three complete-game wins in April (Randy Johnson, three complete game wins in April 2000).

... named the National League Pitcher of the Month for April after going 5-0, 1.29 ERA in five starts (35.0 IP, 5 ER).

... Became the first Major League pitcher to throw two complete-game shutouts in his first two starts of season since 1982 (Rick Mahler, Atlanta Braves).

... only the third pitcher in the last six seasons to throw three shutouts in his first 15 starts.

... Jason Schmidt did it in 2003 and Jeff Weaver in 2002.

... second pitcher since 1989 to have four shutouts through 17 starts prior to the All-Star break (Orel Hershiser went 9-7, 17 GS, 4 SHO in with LAD in 1989).

... set a Marlins club record by beginning the season with 24.0 scoreless innings (previous record was 15.2 scoreless innings by Ricky Bones in 2000, which was matched by Willis in 2004).

... At 22-10, became the first Major League pitcher with 32 decisions since John Smoltz in 1996 (24-8).

... first pitcher to win 22 games in a season before the age of 24 since 1985, when Dwight Gooden was 24-4 before his 21st birthday.

... first ML pitcher under 24 to win 20 games since Ramon Martinez (20-6) in 1990, and the youngest lefty since Vida Blue (24-8) in 1971.

... Registered 26.5 percent of the Marlins wins, which was the highest percentage in the Majors, as he owned 22 of the Marlins 83 wins.

... the last ML pitcher on a winning team with that high of a percentage of team wins was Catfish Hunter for the Yankees in 1975 (23 of 83, 27.7 percent).

... the last NL pitcher was Ferguson Jenkins of the Cubs in 1971 (24 of 83, 28.9 percent).

... gave up 11 home runs on the year, tied for fewest in the ML with three other pitchers with at least 25 starts.

... recorded just two no-decisions on the season, June 18 at Los Angeles (AL) and October 2 vs. Atlanta.

... Selected as an All-Star for the second time in his career (2003).

... he owned a 13-4 record with a 2.39 ERA at the break.

... At the plate, batted .261 (24x92) with four doubles, one home run, and 11 RBI.

... connected for first career home run on September 12 at Houston off RHP Scott Strickland.

... led all ML pitchers in at-bats (92), runs (14), RBI (11) and tied for second in hits (24).

... collected five multi-hit games (T-2nd).

... established franchise records for a Marlins pitcher in a single season with 14 runs, 24 hits and 11 RBI.

... batted eighth in the lineup on September 17 vs. Philadelphia, just the second time in the Majors since 1998 that a starting pitcher batted higher than ninth (Tomo Ohka, Montreal, May 30, 2004).

... batted seventh on September 22 at New York (NL), the first pitcher since 1973 to hit higher than eighth (Steve Renko, Montreal, August 26, 1973).

... hit .167 (1x6) with one strikeout on the year as a pinch-hitter.

... Collected two hits in the sixth inning on June 13 at Chicago (NL), becoming the third pitcher in 2005 (J. Schmidt, SF; J. Marquis, STL) and the first in Marlins history with two hits in an inning.

... had six-game hit streak from May 23 to June 23 (8x19/.421), the longest ever by a Marlins pitcher.

... the previous was five games in 1993 (Jack Armstrong).

“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola

Last edited by GoGetEmTigers on Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Dontrelle Willis | P   Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:14 am

2006 Highlights

Went 12-12 with 3.87 ERA and matched career high for games (34) and starts (34).

...led Marlins pitching staff in wins (tied), starts (34), complete games (4), innings (223.1), and was second with 160 strikeouts.

...finished fifth in the National League for innings pitched.

...After a 1-6 start, went 11-6 with 3.39 ERA in final 23 starts after May.

...won three consecutive decisions in four starts from June 2-20.

...went 5-2 over final nine starts of season.

...won three straight starts from September 10-20.

...tossed complete-game shutout on September 10 vs. Philadelphia, allowing just three hits.

...also won September 15 at Atlanta and September 20 at New York-NL.

...Earned 50th career win on June 20 at Baltimore, becoming the all-time winningest pitcher in Marlins history, passing A.J. Burnett (49).

...finished season second on franchise list for innings pitched (817.1), behind Burnett's 853.2 innings.

...moved into third place on the club list for career strikeouts with 611.

...Burnett leads with 753 strikeouts. third on Marlins career list with 127 starts for a pitcher, just behind the leader, Burnett, who has 131.

...Established new Marlins career record with 15th complete game on September 10 vs. Philadelphia, his fourth complete game of the season, which was good enough for fourth in the National League.

...held Phillies scoreless in the game, as he earned his eighth career shutout, tying A.J. Burnett for most in franchise history.

...recorded 12 strikeouts in the game, which tied his career high that he set vs. Atlanta on October 2, 2005.

...Led the Majors with 19 hit batsmen, which was also a Marlins' single-season record.

...the previous Marlins record was 16 hit batsmen by Kevin Brown in 1996.

...Was recognized by the South Florida chapter of the BBWAA with the 2006 Charlie Hough Good Guy Award.

...Was one of five Marlins pitchers to win 10 games, the first time five pitchers have won 10 in the same season in club history.

...Batted .172 with three home runs and 10 RBI.

... set batting career highs with three home runs and six walks.

...hit first career grand slam on July 7 at New York (NL) off Jose Lima, marking just the second grand slam ever by a Marlins pitcher (also Chris Hammond on 5/29/95 vs. Houston). marked the first grand slam by a Major League pitcher since Philadelphia's Robert Person hit one on June 2, 2002, vs. Montreal.

...had first career two-homer game on September 20 at New York (NL), hitting solo home runs off Oliver Perez and Roberto Hernandez.

...he became the first Marlins pitcher ever to hit two home runs in a game.

...went 1x1 as a pinch-hitter, recording an infield-single off John Smoltz on May 17 at Atlanta.

...improved career pinch-hitting average to .333 (5x15).

2007 Highlights

Went 10-15 with 5.17 ERA in career-high 35 starts.

... had 10 wins, tied with Scott Olsen for most wins on Marlins staff.

... led Florida pitchers with 35 starts, 205.1 innings and 146 strikeouts.

... recorded 10 wins for fifth straight season, first Marlins pitcher ever to do so and one of 19 pitchers in Majors with as long an active streak.

... Finished season with 757 career strikeouts, tops on the Marlins' all-time list.

... passed A.J. Burnett (753) with seven-strikeout effort on September 25 vs. Chicago-NL.

... finished season with 162 career starts, passing the mark previously held by A.J. Burnett (132).

... added to all-time records he already owned, including wins (68) and innings (1,022.2).

... Held left-handed opponents to .123 (13x106) average with no home runs, the second-best in the Majors (min 100 AB), behind Jonathan Papelbon (.104/ 12x115).

... Won first three starts and went 5-1 with 5.35 ERA in first six starts.

... was 5-14 over final 29 starts, including season-long nine-game losing streak over 13 starts from June 3 to August 8.

... went 2-0 over final four starts.

... Batted .286 (18x63) with two home runs and seven RBI.

... hit his eighth career home run in his August 29 start vs. Atlanta off Buddy Carlyle, his second home run on the season and the second by a Marlins pitcher.

... with his first home run of the season, August 8 at Philadelphia, he became just the second pitcher in the last 50 years to homer in each of his first five seasons, beginning with his official rookie year.

... the other was Gary Peters, who homered in his first nine seasons (1963-71).

... Willis and Carlos Zambrano are the only pitchers who have homered in each of the last five seasons (2003-07).

... went 1x3 as pinch hitter, and is now 6x18 all-time as PH.

2008 Highlights

Completed his first season with the Tigers organization in 2008, appearing in eight games with Detroit -- also saw action at the minor league level with Single A Lakeland and Triple A Toledo.

...Walked a career-high seven batters on April 5 versus the Chicago White Sox.

...Landed on the disabled list on April 12 with a hyperextension of his right knee -- marked his first stint on the disabled list during his major league career.

...Assigned to Toledo for an injury rehab assignment on May 2 -- took the loss that night versus Rochester after he allowed two runs on four hits in 4.2 innings.

...recalled by the Tigers from his injury rehab assignment on May 4 after he tweaked his right knee.

...The Tigers assigned him back to Toledo for an injury rehab assignment on May 12 -- earned the win in his only decision as he compiled a 4.63 ERA (11.2IP/6ER) in two starts before being recalled from his injury rehab assignment and reinstated from the disabled list by the Tigers on May 21.

...Made his first career relief appearance at the major league level on May 23 versus Minnesota.

...Optioned to Lakeland by the Tigers on June 11.

...Made one relief appearance with Lakeland before being sidelined July 4-16 with a right knee sprain.

...Posted a 0-3 record and 4.50 ERA (26.0IP/13ER) in five starts with Lakeland before having his option transferred to Toledo on August 13.

...Recalled from Toledo by the Tigers on September 1 -- started three games for Detroit during September, compiling a 0-1 record and 8.53 ERA (12.2IP/12ER).

...Limited lefthanded batters to a .125 batting average (3x24) with the Tigers.

...righties hit .242 (15x62) against him.

2009 Highlights

Limited to seven starts with the Tigers as he spent the majority of the 2009 season on the disabled list.

...Opened the season on the disabled list with anxiety disorder -- assigned to Single A Lakeland as part of an injury rehabilitation assignment on April 21, suffering the loss in his start versus Clearwater that night.

...Had his injury rehabilitation assignment transferred to Double A Erie on April 22 -- earned the win over Harrisburg in his only start with the SeaWolves on April 26.

...Had his injury rehabilitation assignment transferred to Triple A Toledo on April 27 -- made two starts with the Mud Hens before he was recalled from his injury rehabilitation assignment by the Tigers on May 7 and reinstated from the disabled list on May 13.

...Blanked Texas on one hit over 6.1 innings of work to earn the win on May 19 at Comerica Park -- marked his first win at the major league level since September 25, 2007 versus the Chicago Cubs.

...Took the loss on June 4 versus Boston, allowing five runs despite holding the Red Sox hitless over 2.1 innings of work -- according to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became the first major league pitcher to allow five runs without giving up a hit since Florida's Mark Hutton did so on August 20, 1996 at Chicago's Wrigley Field against the Cubs.

...he became just the second pitcher in Tigers history to ever to do so, joining Mark Fidrych, who did so on September 24, 1980 versus Toronto.

...Walked a career-high eight batters on June 14 at Pittsburgh.

...Landed on the disabled list for the remainder of the season on June 15 with anxiety disorder.

...Assigned to Toledo as part of an injury rehabilitation assignment on August 19 -- started three games for the Mud Hens, compiling a 1-1 record and 6.17 ERA (11.2IP/8ER) before being recalled from the injury rehabilitation assignment on September 8.

“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: Dontrelle Willis | P   Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:17 am


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: Dontrelle Willis | P   Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:17 am

Dontrelle designated
Posted on May 29, 2010 at 10:19 PM

Dontrelle Willis' Tigers tenure is over. The Tigers announced Saturday they are designating his contract for assignment to make room for Max Scherzer on the 25-man roster in time for Scherzer's scheduled start Sunday.

From there, the Tigers will technically have 10 days to try to trade Willis or see if another team claims Willis on waivers. Neither option seems likely. With Willis all but certain to decline a minor league assignment, this essentially means the end of a pairing that went perplexingly bad from the start in 2008 and never saw Willis return to his Florida form.

"It never worked out the way we would've liked it to work out," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said in announcing the move. "I don't think I really need to say any more than that. At the time, we thought we were getting a guy who would come in and be a very solid big league pitcher, and it didn't work out for us. Those things happen at times. You're never happy when they do. He's put forward the effort. We know we've dealt with a lot of issues with him. It's unfortunate."

Willis went 2-8 with a 6.86 ERA over the last three years with the Tigers, covering 24 games, 22 of them starts. He missed stretches over the previous two seasons to the disabled list -- a knee injury in 2008, then what was termed as anxiety disorder last year -- but at the root, his Tigers tenure came down to a seemingly endless battle with finding the strike zone consistently.

The 28-year-old became one of baseball's more encouraging comeback stories this spring when he won a job in the Opening Day rotation, beating out Nate Robertson and Armando Galarraga among others. He threw quality outings in three of his first four starts, including six scoreless innings with six strikeouts against the Twins in a big AL Central battle April 29 at Comerica Park.

For the season, went 1-2 with a 4.98 ERA in eight starts and a relief appearance, but it was his May struggles -- 0-1 record, 6.52 ERA, 23 hits and 17 walks over 19 1/3 innings -- that drew the Tigers to stick with the recently-recalled Galarraga in the rotation over Willis. He had solid stretches in a couple of those May performances, retiring 11 of the first 12 Dodgers he faced May 21 in Los Angeles, but had similarly rough stretches where he battled walks.

"I think probably the uncertainly is [a factor]," manager Jim Leyland said. "Not knowing what you were going to get was probably a key factor. I'll leave it at that, because he gave a great effort and he was a great teammate. It's sad, really."

His performance Friday night against the A's, giving up three runs on nine hits with four walks and five strikeouts, prompted a meeting among club officials Saturday afternoon.

"It's difficult," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "For us and for me, because we had a meeting with the staff members today, it's difficult, because he's worked hard to try to overcome a lot. He's made some strides, it became apparent, this year. For us, we just weren't seeing the same progress we saw in the spring. At times you see, but not on a consistent basis."

This team, a disabled list stint was not an option. The Tigers apparently had no such discussions with either Willis or his agent, Matt Sosnick, before they informed Willis of the move Saturday night.

For now, Willis will be in roster limbo, but could well be headed for a release. To claim Willis on waivers would involve taking on the rest of his contract. He's scheduled to make $12 million this season, the final year of the three-year, $29 million contract he signed with the Tigers after they acquired him from Florida in the Miguel Cabrera trade.

Even with the Tigers picking up the rest of that money, a little more than $8 million, it would appear unlikely another team would give up a prospect for him in the way the Tigers were able to acquire a reliever for Nate Robertson at the end of Spring Training.

With Willis all but certain to decline a minor league assignment, as is his right, he could become a free agent in a week and a half, which would allow him to sign with another team for the Major League minimum and have the Tigers pick up the rest of his salary. More important for him, he'll get a fresh start in a new organization.

"I definitely have seen some strides forward from last year to this year," catcher Gerald Laird. "He's close. He's going to bounce back and get with another club, and he's going to get right. It's tough to see a guy leave like that. But they felt like the decision needed to be made to better the ballclub, and they did it. It's one of those things you hate to see, but it's part of the game and we all understand that. He does, too.

"His career is far from over. You are going to see him back somewhere."

“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
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PostSubject: Re: Dontrelle Willis | P   Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:18 am

Agent: Dontrelle could use a fresh start
Posted on May 30, 2010 at 11:23 PM

Just got off the phone with Dontrelle Willis' agent, Matt Sosnick, who will be waiting with his client for the next week and a half or so to see if Willis is going to be traded -- and they do anticipate there being some interest -- or become a free agent who can pick and choose his club. Whatever happens, they're feeling like a change of scenery should do him some good.

"On Dontrelle's end, I think it's going to be a relief getting a fresh start," Sosnick said Sunday night. "If anything's going to get him back, it's going to be a fresh start."

In that sense, Sosnick said, the move to designate Willis for assignment this weekend "probably played out this way at a good time."

By no means was Sosnick criticizing the Tigers by saying his client needed to move on. Sosnick had complements for the Tigers and team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski, saying they did everything they could to try to set up a support network around the left-hander. But in the end, the struggles of the last two seasons just lingered over Willis' 2010 campaign, and there was nothing either side could do about it.

"Wherever [Willis] goes next," Sosnick said, "I think he hopes he can be successful without him being the guy that has all these issues as opposed to being [another pitcher]. His playing games in Detroit was kind of secondary to figuring out why he wasn't the same guy who won the rookie of the year [in 2003]. ...

"Every time he pitched well, it was [a story of] the guy who was pitching well in spite of all the stuff he was dealing with. That's not to say it was anybody's fault, because it wasn't."

That history put a huge amount of pressure on Dontrelle -- not the pressure of pitching, but what he was associated with in Detroit, between the past couple years and the contract.

"I'd say he got an incredibly fair shot in Detroit," Sosnick said. "They signed him to an incredibly good contract. Dontrelle feels terrible he didn't give the team what they thought they were getting. It's Dontrelle who had to go through it, but after the contract got signed, the guy who was the next most important person Dontrelle to pitch well was Dombrowski."

While it certainly would benefit Willis to become a free agent and pick his next club, it could be a positive if the Tigers could get something in return for Willis in a trade.

In the end, no hard feelings. But it was a situation that, after the last couple years, proved impossible to overcome. Willis' body language coming off the mound didn't have the same energy his last few starts that he had in Spring Training. He was not happy, even when he would have a good inning or a good stretch.

"It was a really negative vibe for him," Sosnick said. "It's nothing that's Detroit fault. It was a bad mesh."

For now, Willis is going to wait out his situation and try to continue to throw off a mound to try to stay fresh. Sosnick did not rule out the possibility that Willis would be willing to start out in the minor leagues for a little bit to get ready, but he feels like Willis can stay ready to pitch in the big leagues. Sosnick did not get into teams or locations, though it's worth noting that Willis just bought a home in Arizona.

Like many, Sosnick believes his client can turn it around with a better situation.

"I really do feel like he's going to come back and be really good," Sosnick said.

“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: Dontrelle Willis | P   Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:18 am

_Billy Buckner __ Dontrelle Willis

Tigers get Buckner from D-backs for Willis
Right-hander will report to Detroit's Triple-A Toledo affiliate

By Jason Beck /

06/01/10 8:47 PM ET

DETROIT -- Dontrelle Willis has a new home -- coincidentally, where the left-hander just bought a new home. The Tigers sent him to the D-backs on Tuesday night in exchange for right-hander Billy Buckner.

Much like the Nate Robertson trade to Florida at the end of Spring Training, the deal nets the Tigers something for a pitcher who was knocked out of Detroit's rotation. The Tigers designated Willis for assignment Sunday morning.

Detroit had 10 days to either trade Willis or release him, given that Willis wasn't going to accept an assignment to the Minor Leagues. Not only did the Tigers need fewer than 72 hours to move him, they found interest from several teams in the National League, where Willis won Rookie of the Year honors in 2003 and was a 22-game winner for Florida in '05.

"We talked with a couple of clubs about him," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said Tuesday in announcing the deal. "This is a good fit for him. I know he just bought a home in Arizona. I hope it works out very well for him. The other thing is, by moving him quickly, he's in a position where he doesn't have any downtime as far as not being able to pitch, so he's ready to step in."

Willis threw a side session at Triple-A Toledo on Tuesday under the watch of Mud Hens pitching coach A.J. Sager. The Tigers allowed him to work out there to keep his arm fresh, since he hadn't thrown since his final Detroit start Friday night.

The Tigers are expected to pick up nearly all of the $8.1 million salary Willis still has coming this season, the last year of the three-year, $29 million contract Willis signed soon after joining the Tigers in December 2007. The prorated minimum salary the D-backs would be obligated to pay works out to around $266,000.

That would've been the case, however, had the Tigers released him. In this case, they at least received a player for their trouble.

Buckner -- no relation to former big league first baseman Bill Buckner -- was a second-round pick of the Royals in 2004 and went to Arizona in the trade that sent Alberto Callaspo to Kansas City. He went into the year as the favorite for the fifth-starter's job in Arizona, but as in previous years, struggled with big league hitters. He went 3-1 with a 3.53 ERA at Triple-A Reno this year before being recalled two weeks ago. He has lost all three of his starts with the D-backs this year, giving up 26 hits over 13 innings -- including four home runs.

"He's been an up-and-down guy between Triple-A and the big leagues," Dombrowski said. "He's had three starts at the big league level this year. They have not been good. But he did very well for them at Triple-A. He's a guy that gives us some protection. He can start or relieve."

He'll immediately slot in at Triple-A Toledo, where the Mud Hens were short a pitcher after Armando Galarraga was recalled to Detroit.

The 28-year-old Buckner was caught by surprise by the deal.

"Surprise," Buckner told reporters, "but I mean, I know this team is looking to make a lot of changes and this is one of them. I will just continue to work. Baseball goes on and so will I. It's a good thing, I guess."

It's a better situation for Willis, who gets the fresh start he needed after three rough seasons in Detroit. Willis' agent, Matt Sosnick, told on Sunday night that his client could benefit from a change of scenery. Dombrowski, who spoke with Willis on Tuesday, agreed.

Willis went 1-2 with a 4.98 ERA in eight starts and a relief appearance for the Tigers, walking 29 batters and striking out 33 over 43 1/3 innings. He made one start against the NL this year, giving up four runs over 5 1/3 innings against the Dodgers on May 21.

"It's a situation that works great for him," Dombrowski said. "I think that, all in all, it's been a tough situation for him on the field, but everybody's tried."

Willis could still make one more start in Detroit. The D-backs come to town for a three-game Interleague series from June 18-20 at Comerica Park.

"I wish him well all the other times," Dombrowski said, "but I hope we beat him."

Jason Beck is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: Dontrelle Willis | P   Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:19 am

D-Train's first Arizona stop: Victory lane
Willis throws six shutout innings to win his debut with D-backs

By Andrew Pentis /

06/06/10 1:22 AM ET

Box >

PHOENIX -- The National League does suit Dontrelle Willis.

Pitching six shutout innings, Willis beat the Colorado Rockies almost single-handedly, 4-3, in front of 28,138 at Chase Field on Saturday. Almost single-handedly. That's because Ryan Roberts, who pinch-hit for him in the sixth and was Friday's walk-off hero, and Kelly Johnson doubled home three runs that proved crucial in Arizona's franchise-tying sixth straight one-run game.

"It's a good stepping stone," said Willis, who also singled and scored the D-backs' first run in his return to the NL after spending parts of three seasons in the AL. "We just have to keep building off the momentum and go from there."

With a modest two-game winning streak, which no player has affected as much as Roberts, following their 10-game slide, the D-backs secured a series victory -- their first since taking two of three from Toronto on May 21 and 22 -- before they even face you know who in Sunday's series finale: Ubaldo Jimenez (10-1, 0.78 ERA, who will attempt to beat Arizona for the third time this season.

Willis (1-0), who made eight starts for the Detroit Tigers before he was traded for Billy Buckner on Tuesday, wasn't exactly perfect on the mound. He walked at least one batter in each of his first four innings, and he and battery mate Chris Snyder allowed four stolen bases.

Willis did pitch around his troubles, though. With runners on first and third and two outs in the fifth inning -- the fourth of five consecutive frames that Willis allowed a Rockie to advance into scoring position -- he struck out Brad Hawpe on a high heater. The lefty's many-moving-parts pitching motion took him to the ground, and he slapped at it in celebration. (He also slapped the mound after giving up a sixth-inning double to Chris Iannetta, the ninth of 12 Rockies left stranded for the game; Colorado went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.)

When asked, "What does that say about Dontrelle when the chips are down?" Willis said: "That they're lining out. That's a good thing. I'll take it however I get it."

Said manager A.J. Hinch of Willis' 106-pitch effort: "With all his imperfections and how he battles himself, to watch a guy go out and compete and leave it all on the line is a good sight to see. He made a nice first impression."

At the moment, Willis doesn't appear to have much competition for the rotation's fifth spot. Kris Benson, who made three starts before straining his right shoulder, struggled in his third rehab start Friday night, yielding eight earned runs in 1 1/3 innings for Triple-A Reno. So, despite the fact that Willis' command issues appear unsolved, he can now be called D-Train No. 5.

"That's all part of his effectiveness -- he's effectively wild as they would say and isn't going to give in," Hinch said. "I didn't think [Colorado's] lefties looked entirely comfortable against him."

After Willis' exit Saturday, Carlos Rosa allowed two runs on sacrifice flies in the seventh before Aaron Heilman inherited his bases-loaded predicament and walked in a third Rockies run with two outs. Heilman righted himself with a 1-2-3 eighth, paving the way for closer Chad Qualls to notch his 10th save.

Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin (3-4), whose May 25 six-inning performance kicked off Arizona's 10-game skid, gave up a 1-0 lead in the third inning, but it wasn't entirely his fault. Following Willis' leadoff single through the infield -- it was his first hit in 979 days, since he was a Florida Marlin in 2007 -- Willis would have been forced out at second base on Johnson's grounder to first base, but Jason Giambi's throw to second sailed into left field. Two batters later, when Stephen Drew singled to left field, D-backs third-base coach Bo Porter didn't hesitate sending Willis home from second. Willis just beat the throw by swiping his left hand over home plate.

"The plate ended up moving backwards as I got closer," Willis joked. "A refrigerator got on my back toward the end. ... I don't know how to slide feet first."

Andrew Pentis is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: Dontrelle Willis | P   Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:20 am

Willis, Jackson set to face former teammates

By Steve Gilbert /

06/17/10 7:20 PM ET

BOSTON -- If you want a catchy name for this weekend's Interleague series between the D-backs and Tigers, how about "Reunion Weekend?"

The D-backs will throw former Tigers Dontrelle Willis and Edwin Jackson in the first two games, while Detroit will send former Arizona hurler Max Scherzer in Sunday's finale.

"We're going to ride the ex-team factor and try to use it to our advantage," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said with a smile.

Jackson went 13-9 with a 3.62 ERA in 33 starts for the Tigers last year before being dealt to Arizona during the Winter Meetings in a three-team trade that saw Scherzer go from the D-backs to Tigers and Ian Kennedy go from the Yankees to the D-backs. Kennedy will start Sunday against Scherzer.

From the sound of it, Saturday's start will not have any added importance for Jackson.

"I have good memories everywhere I played, but they're memories," said Jackson, who is 3-6 with a 5.18 ERA this year. "I'm with a new team, it's a new start. Sometimes the past is the past, and you have to keep moving with the present."

Willis, on the other hand, is only a few weeks removed from his time in Detroit. The left-hander was acquired by the D-backs on June 1 after being designated for assignment by the Tigers.

"I'm excited that I get a chance to play, but as far as playing against them, it's just another game for me," Willis said. "I haven't played in nine days, so I'm just happy to be in the lineup."

Willis, who was pushed back in the rotation due to Monday's off-day, has made two starts for the D-backs and is 1-0 with 1.80 ERA. He does, however, have 10 walks and five strikeouts in 10 innings.

The veteran was asked if his familiarity with the Detroit hitters would be an advantage.

"Yeah, if you can execute," Willis said. "You can know everybody's strengths, but if you're not able to execute, then it just goes out the door. So I just want to go out there and compete and give us a really good chance to win the ballgame."

“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: Dontrelle Willis | P   Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:51 pm

Willis signs Minor League contract with Reds
By Alden Gonzalez / | 11/22/10 5:30 PM EST

Still hoping for another shot at being a productive pitcher in the big leagues, Dontrelle Willis signed a Minor League contract with the Reds on Monday.

Willis' deal includes an invitation to Spring Training, and because of the depth of Cincinnati's starting rotation, he's going to try to pitch out of the bullpen.

"He knows that he needs to rebuild his value," said Willis' agent, Matt Sosnick.

"He's probably going to pitch in relief, and I think he's comfortable with that."

With an awkward delivery and a live arm, Willis was one of the top young left-handers in the game when he arrived in the big leagues with the Marlins in 2003. But his career spiraled shortly thereafter, especially after being traded to the Tigers along with Miguel Cabrera in the 2007 offseason.

From 2003-06, Willis went a combined 58-39 with a 3.44 ERA and averaged 32 starts per year. But from 2007-10, he went 13-24 with a 5.81 ERA while averaging just 16 starts a year and striking out only 22 more batters than he walked.

In December 2007, Willis was given a three-year, $29 million contract, but the final year of that deal proved to be the tipping point.

That season, the 28-year-old was designated for assignment by the Tigers on May 30, dealt to the D-backs for Billy Buckner two days later, released by Arizona on July 6 and signed by the Giants to a Minor League contract on July 14.

With the Tigers and D-backs, Willis posted a 5.62 ERA while walking 56 and striking out 47 in 15 games (13 starts). Willis then made just eight relief appearances for the Giants' rookie-level and Triple-A affiliates, putting up a 6.14 ERA with five walks in 7 1/3 innings.

In three career relief appearances in the Majors, Willis has given up six earned runs in three innings (an 18.00 ERA).

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Gonzo and 'The Show'. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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