March 1, 2012; Clearwater, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Dontrelle Willis (53) during photo day at Bright House Networks Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE
A longshot to make the Phillies roster from the beginning, the 32-year-old Willis had given up five runs and walked four--striking out none--in just 2 2/3 innings this spring.
The release is obviously a significant hit to Willis' quest to break back into the league as a Major League regular. The 2003 NL Rookie of the Year and two-time All-Star hasn't pitched a complete season in the big leagues since 2007, his final year with the Marlins.
Over the past four seasons Willis has managed only 199 IP for four different teams, putting up a 6.15 ERA and walking over seven batters per nine innings--as opposed to only six strikeouts per nine.
- Matt Gelb of the Philly Inquirer has more on Willis' release, breaking down what the club does and doesn't owe Willis financially.
- The Yankees offered Willis a non-roster invite to Spring Training in the offseason, tweets Joel Sherman, but that looks very unlikely now with today's signing of Andy Pettitte.