Dontrelle Willis has had a strange season. (Actually, he’s had a strange career; more on that anon.)
He signed with the Orioles after being released by the Phillies during spring training. There was a dispute between Willis and the Orioles about what his role would be; he briefly wound up on the restricted list and filed a grievance. This was eventually resolved, but Willis made just four appearances (one start) for Triple-A Norfolk, posting an awful 8.53 ERA and 2.21 WHIP.
And then, this:
Also, Dontrelle Willis apparently is considering retirement, according to #orioles, so he’s not expected to make next start for Norfolk
— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) July 2, 2012
“Retirement” might not be the right word for a pitcher who hasn’t had a really good year since 2006 and whose record in 78 appearances (75 starts) since then is 14-30 with a 5.65 ERA and 1.70 WHIP. Before that, he was NL Rookie of the Year in 2003 and finished second in NL Cy Young voting in 2005.
It’s surprising, in a way, that Willis didn’t try the Rick Ankiel route, as he was a pretty good hitter: .244/.287/.378 in 447 career plate appearances, with 13 doubles, six triples and nine home runs. He just turned 30 last January; maybe a team would still be willing to try this.
It would be a fascinating way to end an interesting career -- but it won't happen, because not long after the first tweet, Kubatko sent out this one:
#orioles just confirmed Dontrelle Willis has announced his retirement. The D-Train is off the tracks.— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) July 2, 2012