On Independence Day, the designation of Dontrelle Willis captured the spotlight but he was just one of 13 players involved in moves made by 6 teams.
(moves after the jump)
The Cleveland Indians placed OF-Shin-Soo Choo (27) on the 15-day disabled list. He is in the process of seeing specialists to assess whether or not he will need surgery on his injured thumb and could be out 6-8 weeks. To try and take his place, the team called up OF-Michael Brantley (23) from Columbus.
The Atlanta Braves signed OF-Willy Taveras (28) to a minor league contract.
The Arizona Diamondbacks called up LHP-Jordan Norberto (23) from Reno after designating LHP-Dontrelle Willis (28) for assignment. Willis’ fall from grace has been swift and unsettling to watch. It’s hard to forget his stellar 2005 campaign for the Marlins which saw him finish the season 22-10 with a 2.63 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 3.09 SO/BB and ERA+ of 152. He followed that up with a slightly above average 2006 season before his control left him. Since the 2007, he has walked more batters than he has struckout. Not even a return to the National League could help him rediscover the magic or, as his 10.9 BB/9 suggests, rediscover his control. Willis is one of those players who is easy to root for. He comes off as a genuinely nice person whose love for the game of baseball is easy to see. In today’s day and age very few players strike me as the sort that would play the game for nothing but Dontrelle Willis and Ken Griffey Jr. (before he retired) were two of those guys. With this latest setback, it looks like Willis may be playing for free sooner rather than later but at 28-years old there is still time and hope for him. A pairing with pitching guru Dave Duncan, or someone of his ilk, could be just what he needs to get back on track.