Tuesday, December 13, 2011
What you talkin’ ‘bout, Willis? Dontrelle that is!
The Phillies have taken their annual flyer on a former high draft pick (see Kris Benson, Matt Anderson) who has fallen on hard times in the hopes of capturing some of that bygone magic, this time in the person of Dontrelle Willis, former rookie of the year and second place finisher in the 2005 Cy Young race. Willis, still only 29 has not had any success in the major leagues since 2006, mostly due to control problems. However, he has held lefthanded hitters to a .200 average throughout his career, and an even better .127 average in 2011. The Phillies plan on using him as a situational lefthander, one brought in almost exclusively to face lefthanders, and this fact may result in a career resuscitation for the D-train and a big boon for the Phillies. Using him in a role in which he is well-suited should do much to restore his confidence. Plus, he can really hit, in 34 major-league plate appearances last year, he hit .387 with a homer, a triple and three doubles (1.032 OPS). With Willis, Lee, Hamels, and Joe Savery the Phillies will really be carrying some lumber on their pitching staff. All in all, the D-train is a chance well worth taking for the Phillies.