Dontrelle Willis has left his Triple-A Norfolk team without permission and was placed on the restricted list by the Orioles. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman confirmed with Orioles GM Dan Duquette that there was a disagreement between Willis and the team over his future role.
The Orioles reportedly want to turn Willis into a relief pitcher, but he wants to remain a starter. His agent confirmed there was a disagreement and that Willis wants to be released.
Willis was the 2003 NL Rookie of the Year after going 14-6 following an early-season callup by the Marlins. A two-time All-Star, he finished second in Cy Young voting in 2005 after going 22-10 while leading the league in wins, complete games, and shutouts. His career began going off the rails following a poor 2007 season in Florida. He was traded to Detroit where he was a disaster for two and a half seasons, and both the Diamondbacks and Reds let him go after he had poor showings for those teams.
Willis is proving he can’t be successful as a starting pitcher anymore, so maybe trying to become a reliever would be the best thing for him if he wants to continue his career. Despite his struggles, he’s still effective against left-handed hitters.
H/T Hardball Talk