March 7, 2012; Clearwater FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Dontrelle Willis (53) pitches in the sixth inning of the game against the Houston Astros at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE
#orioles just confirmed Dontrelle Willis has announced his retirement. The D-Train is off the tracks.— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) July 2, 2012
Prior to his retirement, Willis was pitching for the Orioles Triple-A affiliate. The 30-year-old had pitched primarily in relief for the club, though he did make one start this season. Over his four appearances spanning 6 1/3 innings, Willis surrendered eight runs on 10 hits with four walks and four strikeouts.
Willis began his professional career with the Chicago Cubs, who selected him in the 8th round of the 2000 MLB draft. Less than two years later, the Cubs shipped Willis and others to the then Florida Marlins in exchange for Antonio Alfonseca and Matt Clement.
What do you think happened to the D-Train?
Willis went on to shine with the Marlins, becoming one of the game’s top prospects. Making his major league debut at 21, Willis went on to be named the National League Rookie of the Year that season after maintaining an ERA and WHIP of 3.30 and 1.282 over his 27 starts.
After a so-so 2004 season, Willis finished second in NL Cy Young voting in ’05 after winning 22 games and posting an ERA and WHIP of 2.63 and 1.134 over his 34 starts.
Willis struggled with the Tigers, only mustering an ERA and WHIP of 6.86 and 1.931 over his three seasons with the club. He was traded once again in 2010, this time to the Arizona Diamondbacks, who went on to release him soon after acquiring him.
Over his nine seasons in the bigs, Willis owns a record of 72-69 with an ERA and WHIP of 4.17 and 1.433.