Pitcher Dontrelle Willis Announces Retirement After 10-Year Career
By Bryn Swatrz, MLB Examiner
Pitcher Dontrelle Willis has retired from the game of baseball, ending a brief stint with the Baltimore Orioles’ Triple-A team.
Willis, 30, has been trying to revive his major league career for the past six seasons, which has included failed stints with the Detroit Tigers (2-8, 6.86 ERA, 92 walks in 101 innings pitched), Arizona Diamondbacks (1-1, 6.85 ERA, 27 walks in 22.1 innings pitched), Cincinnati Reds (1-6, 5.00 ERA), Philadelphia Phillies (failed to make 2012 roster as relief pitcher), and Baltimore Orioles (0-3, 8.53 ERA in Triple-A).
Over his first couple of seasons, Willis looked like he had a chance to become a Hall of Famer. He earned National League Rookie of the Year honors with the Florida Marlins in 2003, winning 14 games and posting a 3.30 earned run average as a 21-year old. The Marlins captured the second world championship in franchise history.
After a subpar 2004 season, Willis rebounded to become of the game’s best pitchers in 2005. He won 22 games, including five complete-game shutouts, while posting a 2.63 earned run average. He finished second in the Cy Young voting.
But Willis suffered through another subpar season, winning 12 of 24 decisions with a 3.87 ERA in 2006. And his downfall began in 2007, when he went 10-15 with a 5.17 earned run average.
That led to five miserable seasons attempting to revive his career, but on Monday, the 30-year old called it quits.
Over his nine-year major league career, Willis won 72 games, lost 69, and posted a 4.17 ERA. But over his final five seasons, Willis won just four of 40 starts, walking 156 batters in 199 innings, and recording a 6.15 earned run average.