Willis is a guy who brings excitement to the ball club and fans alike when his turn in the rotation comes around. He's a former Cy Young candidate who is trying to help a big league ball club win, hopefully for the next few years, right here in Cincinnati.
Currently, Willis is sitting on a 0-3 record with an ERA of 4.14. To prove wins and losses are a useless stat (in a way) though, Willis has pitched seven quality starts (six-plus IP, three ER or less) of his last nine, to go along with a .353 batting average (6-for-17), one home run and two RBI; three of his six hits were extra base hits.
Not so bad for a guy who was a non-roster invitee to spring training this season.
I know he hasn't been the Willis we saw in Florida when he was the 2003 Rookie of the Year and the 2005 National League wins leader.
But I worry about getting into a negotiation battle because money talks—especially in baseball. It's been out there now that Willis is being a big help to the Reds and is starting to look little by little like the man we all knew as the "D-Train."
It's scary to see if a team in a higher market may want to add Willis to their roster. He's only 29 years old, and he helps this team out in so many ways that I feel it's really helpful to have him in the Reds' rotation maybe through 2013 and beyond.
The guy is a shot in the arm, and it's hard to not notice just that.
Walt Jocketty, if you somehow come across this, PLEASE keep the D-Train parked in Cincinnati!!
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