The Phillies released Dontrelle Willis Friday morning, per the team’s official Twitter account.
Willis, who allowed five runs in 2.2 innings this Spring against 12 righties and just four lefties, was on a non-guaranteed deal.
While it was a good idea by Ruben Amaro to try to convert a deceptive pitcher on the down-swing into a left-handed specialist (lefties hit just .127 off Willis last season and .216 the year before), the plan didn’t work out as expected.
Maybe it’s for the best, as Dontrelle’s departure clears the way for a young, cheaper Phillies reliever to make the team. And Willis would have likely continued to be misused on the Phils anyway. Last season J.C. Romero faced 27 more righties than lefties. Willis is similarly ineffective against opposite-handed batters.
By cutting Willis prior to Opening Day, the Phillies save just over $700,000, according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.