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Tuesday July 6, 2010 10:51 pm

Willis takes unwanted break from baseball

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB, Rumors,

Dontrelle WillisIt seems nobody wants Dontrelle Willis. On July 4, the 2003 NL Rookie of the Year was designated for assignment by the Diamondbacks. It was the second time this season he’s found himself unwanted, as his first DFA of the season came from the Tigers on May 30 and traded to Arizona a couple of days later. Willis once again finds himself in no man’s land hoping somebody else across the baseball landscape will show interest in his arm, if nothing else.

Willis made just six appearances for Arizona, including five starts and went 1-1. In 22 1/3 innings, he gave up 17 earned runs on 24 hits and 27 walks, while only striking out 14. He had an ERA of 6.85 and WHIP of 2.284; hardly impressive numbers for the 28-year-old left-hander. However, after his first DFA, the Mets, Brewers and Marlins also showed interest in Willis, so there may still be some hope that he can pitch for a third team in 2010.

For two teams to give up on Willis less than halfway into the season, you have to wonder if more than just his ability has come under question. Maybe his inability to command his stuff has frustrated him to the point of no return – at least this season. Willis’ agent has said that Willis will probably take a long break from baseball to sort out his attitude before considering a return to the big leagues.

Willis was put on the DL by the Tigers last season with anxiety, which he disputed, but it’s hard to argue that something is wrong with the hurler. He’s doing the right thing in taking some time off. You don’t see enough guys willing to take a step back to evaluate themselves as opposed to continuing ongoing slumps which may end up doing worse things to them overall. Willis will be back in baseball, it just might be a while before he is.



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