From the moment I watched my first game of baseball, I was mesmerized by the importance of the pitcher. To win games you need to have a consistent pitcher, something that Dontrelle Willis wasn’t for the Detroit Tigers or the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Dontrelle Willis was the most exciting lefty pitcher to watch from 2003 to 2007, when he played for the Florida Marlins.

With the Florida Marlins he played magnificently, winning the Rookie of the Year and leading the Marlins to their second World Series title in 2003.

During his five-year tenure with the Marlins, he was by far one of the best pitchers in the game. In 2005 he posted 22 wins, a 2.68 ERA, and completed seven games with five shutouts. He came second in the NL Cy Young race, losing to Chris Carpenter.

In his five year career with the Marlins he posted a 3.78 ERA, won 68 and lost 54 games, and to top it off, he had a 2.20 strike out to walk ratio, demonstrating strong command.

Since his time in a Marlins uniform, he has yet to show his dominant form again, and it’s a true shame.

After a rather sub par 2007 season, the Marlins decided to sell some of their best ball players in the offseason, due to rise in payroll.

Dontrelle Willis along with Miguel Cabrera were dealt to the Detroit Tigers in an eight-player trade. 

The trade was rather upsetting to Marlins fans as they had to say goodbye to one of the best batters in the game, and one of the finest pitchers the Marlins franchise had ever had in a Marlins uniform.

Two weeks after the trade, Willis was inked to a three-year $29 million contract with the Tigers, and sad to say that almost every penny of that contract went to waste.

Dontrelle Willis in a Tigers uniform went through baseball hell, he could not throw a pitch for a strike.

In his first two outings of the 2008 season with the Tigers, he had already walked nine batters and struck out none.

Later on that season, he was placed on the Disabled List with an injured left knee, and after his DL stint, manager Jim Leyland tried to use him in a relief role, but that came with no success.

After his struggles, the Detroit management decided to send him down to single A ball where he could practice and get control of his pitch command.

Willis was called back to the Tigers during the September roster expansion, where he recorded one loss and two no decisions leaving some possible hope for a comeback next season. 

The comeback never took place.

In March 2009, Willis was placed on the DL with an anxiety disorder, which left him inactive until mid-May when he was placed back on the active roster and made a few starts, but with poor results.

After his abysmal May, he was then reinstated to the Disabled list, with the same anxiety disorder, leaving him away from baseball for the rest of the 2009 season.

To start the 2010 season, he was placed in the starting rotation where he showed many improvements especially in command, but it still wasn’t enough for the Tigers leaving them no options left.

After a lot of thinking, the Tigers made the bold decision of designating Willis for assignment.

On June 1, the Arizona Diamondbacks traded starting pitcher Bill Buckner for Willis.

In his arrival to Arizona, he decided to switch his jersey number back to 35, thinking that maybe changing his number could help him find success back in the National League. 

He had one good start with the Diamondbacks, where he pitched six shutout innings, but he couldn’t remain consistent and still didn’t have command of his pitches. 

So on July 4, the Diamondbacks new management made the decision to designate Dontrelle Willis for assignment. 

Dontrelle Willis is a player who has gone through so much, and he has yet to find success. 

It is sad to see this happen to Willis and he needs to find solutions to his command problems. 

Right now I hope that the Marlins will give Willis a try, and let him find himself where he last had success.

If he does find success it definitely won’t be in the starting rotation, it would probably be in the bullpen as a left specialist where he could reinvent himself.

Willis was the best and he has the raw talent to return as a top lefty pitcher, and I hope that he can get on the right track so we don’t see his talent go to waste.

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