Dontrelle Willis: D-Train Makes a Stop in Baltimore

Devon TeepleAnalyst IMarch 22, 2012

On Sunday I wrote about Dontrelle Willis getting released by the Philadelphia Phillies. To my surprise, the Baltimore Orioles officially signed Willis to a minor-league deal on Wednesday. 

I’m not sure what the Orioles gain with this deal, more than likely a LOOGY, but Willis really has to step his game up if he wants to make it to the big league club once the season gets under way. 

The bullpen is still a work in progress. Clay Rapada, who was the Orioles lefty specialist, is no longer with the team. He was released and has now signed with the New York Yankees. Troy Patton and Zach Phillips have very little experience, so Willis might have fallen into the ideal situation. 

Reports have surfaced that Willis’ fastball is topping out at 87 mph, not an ideal situation when you’re in the AL East and your job consists of keeping players like Adrian Gonzalez and Robinson Cano off base. had a chance to speak to Willis and asked him if he thought he could contribute to the success of the team.

"I definitely hope so, or I'll go home. Simple as that," said Willis, who will likely start the season in the Minors. "Whatever they want me to do. It's so late in Spring Training, I just want to go out there, get in some games and see how it goes, and take it one day at a time. It's tough because the timing of me coming over here. I'm open to anything as long as I can get some good work in and go from there." 

A career that once showed so much promise is all but winding down. It’s unfortunate, but this train might have finally made its last stop.

Devon is the founder and executive director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals and Gateway Grizzlies.

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