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Orioles To Sign Dontrelle Willis To Minor League Deal

Orioles To Sign Dontrelle Willis To Minor League Deal

PostPost #1 by ofahn » March 20th, 2012, 8:28 pm

SARASOTA, Fla. - In their never-ending search for more starting pitching, the Orioles apparently are on the verge of signing left-hander Dontrelle Willis to a minor league contract.

The Phillies released Willis last week after he allowed five runs and five hits, and walked four batters, in 2 2/3 innings.

Executive vice president Dan Duquette confirmed that the Orioles are working on a minor league deal, but he didn't offer any specifics.

Asked if the deal would include a late spring training invite, Duquette replied, "We're working on that part."

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick first reported that the Orioles would sign Willis, 30, who went 1-6 with a 5.00 ERA in 13 starts with the Reds last year.

Willis is 72-69 with a 4.17 ERA in nine major league seasons. His best year by far was 2005, when he went 22-10 with a 2.63 ERA in 34 starts with the Marlins and finished second in the National League's Cy Young voting. He's won only four games since 2008 and continues to have control issues.

Left-handers batted .127 against him last season. Maybe he's viewed as a lefty specialist. Or a reclamation project.

Update: According to The Sun, it's a split contract worth $700,000 if he reaches the majors. We should see him in Sarasota tomorrow.

Willis' agency, Sosnick Cobbe Sports, tweeted confirmation that he signed a minor league deal.


http://www.masnsports.com/school_of_roc ... -deal.html
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Re: Orioles To Sign Dontrelle Willis To Minor League Deal

PostPost #2 by Shorebirdfan » March 21st, 2012, 7:18 am

to my surprise I'm actually ok with this signing. Minor league deal for little money, so if he doesn't pan out, nothing is lost.

Guess I just liked this guy when he was successful and can't believe how quickly he fell from grace. Just keep thinking there has to be something left in him. Should know better now that he has signed on here.
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Re: Orioles To Sign Dontrelle Willis To Minor League Deal

PostPost #3 by Zach » March 21st, 2012, 8:08 am

I think a lot of his success was based on the unique windup he had. It initially baffled hitters and threw them off, but after a season of seeing it and time to study it in the video room, hitters got more comfortable hitting against him. That being said, I agree that this is a good signing mainly because of the low risk potentially high reward nature of the set up.
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Re: Orioles To Sign Dontrelle Willis To Minor League Deal

PostPost #4 by ofahn » March 21st, 2012, 10:12 am

Willis may be a good test of Peterson's ability to "fix" pitchers. He has good upside and you can never have enough left handers in your system.
Last edited by ofahn on March 21st, 2012, 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Orioles To Sign Dontrelle Willis To Minor League Deal

PostPost #5 by osforlife » March 21st, 2012, 2:05 pm

Makes sense to take a flyer on him considering all the pitching questions even if he isn't used as a starter. I do not think he will make the roster at first. But he is intriguing. Almost definitly will see him in Baltimore at some time during 2012. I like it.
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Re: Orioles To Sign Dontrelle Willis To Minor League Deal

PostPost #6 by birdwatcher55 » March 21st, 2012, 2:24 pm

I wonder if Peterson will have a chance to work with him??? 8-)
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Re: Orioles To Sign Dontrelle Willis To Minor League Deal

PostPost #7 by Ampontan » March 21st, 2012, 7:47 pm

osforlife wrote:Makes sense to take a flyer on him considering all the pitching questions even if he isn't used as a starter. I do not think he will make the roster at first. But he is intriguing. Almost definitly will see him in Baltimore at some time during 2012. I like it.


Maybe not, if the reports are true. They're trying to convert him to the bullpen in general, and left-handed specialist in particular, and that means a trial at AAA, and that means it's a project with no guarantee of the results. To keep him in the majors, the starters will have to eat a lot more innings, and maybe have a few relievers who go multiple innings too.

That said, I like the Duquette idea of flooding the system with player-projects of all types. Some of these guys are going to hit instead of miss. AM was The Master of the Universe when it came to making trades, but I really like DD's approach in this area.
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Re: Orioles To Sign Dontrelle Willis To Minor League Deal

PostPost #8 by ofahn » March 21st, 2012, 8:51 pm

Ampontan wrote:They're trying to convert him to the bullpen in general, and left-handed specialist in particular, and that means a trial at AAA, and that means it's a project with no guarantee of the results. To keep him in the majors, the starters will have to eat a lot more innings, and maybe have a few relievers who go multiple innings too.


Maybe I'm in the minority on this but I see Willis as more than just a LH specialist. He has problems getting through a lineup more than once but he could pitch an inning or so if he only faced one or two RHers.

The key will be to throw strikes. If he can keep his pitch count to RHers to an average of less than four pitches an AB he would only need one effective pitch as a contrast to his fastball to be effective against RHers. He just can't throw the same two pitches over and over again in an appearance or he'll be in trouble. Our pitching gurus need to work on his ability to command the fastball and that one pitch against Rhers to make him a ML again.
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Re: Orioles To Sign Dontrelle Willis To Minor League Deal

PostPost #9 by Matt P » March 21st, 2012, 11:41 pm

I think he has a chance to stick as a reliever. Meh is the only word I can think of to describe my feelings on the signing.
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Re: Orioles To Sign Dontrelle Willis To Minor League Deal

PostPost #10 by birdwatcher55 » March 26th, 2012, 2:27 pm

Yawn 8-)
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Re: Orioles To Sign Dontrelle Willis To Minor League Deal

PostPost #11 by dan72 » March 26th, 2012, 5:44 pm

Not a bad move, not out much if he doesn't pan out. I see him as a lefty specialist.....
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Re: Orioles To Sign Dontrelle Willis To Minor League Deal

PostPost #12 by Beaker » April 25th, 2012, 12:52 pm

Say goodbye to Dontrelle and his short lived time with the Orioles organization. He walked out of Norfolk.
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