Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Dontrelle Willis plays with the Florida Marlins in a previous season. (Associated Press file photo)
Kragthorpe: Dontrelle Willis should drive interest in Salt Lake Bees
Baseball » ‘D-Train’ impressive in Salt Lake debut; makes first home start Sunday
First Published Aug 16 2013 09:07 am • Last Updated Aug 20 2013 05:27 pm

With an ever-changing roster, the Salt Lake Bees have a made a second-half surge and almost certainly are headed to the Pacific Coast League playoffs. And the recent addition of pitcher Dontrelle Willis is making what’s left of their season a lot more interesting.

The parent Los Angeles Angels signed Willis to a minor-league contract after he thrived with the independent Long Island Ducks this summer, and he delivered in his Bees debut Tuesday at Albuquerque. The left-hander who’s known for his high leg kick and twisting windup allowed three hits in six scoreless innings, while walking one and striking out five.

Photos
At a glance

Upcoming home games

Friday » Las Vegas, 7 p.m.

Saturday » Las Vegas, 6:30 p.m.

Sunday » Las Vegas, 1 p.m.

Monday » Las Vegas, 7 p.m.

Tuesday » Las Vegas, 7 p.m.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Willis is scheduled to start Sunday’s game vs. Las Vegas at Spring Mobile Ballpark.

Once a dominant pitcher in the National League, the 31-year-old Willis has dealt with injuries and an anxiety disorder over the past several seasons. The "D-Train" was the NL Rookie of the Year in 2003 when he posted a 14-6 record and Florida won the World Series. In 2005, he went 22-10.

That was the same year current Bees reliever Chad Cordero recorded 47 saves for Washington. Cordero’s comeback attempt has not gone ideally for him this season, as he’s basically functioning as an extra arm in the bullpen. Cordero is 2-3 with a 5.61 ERA and two saves in 43.1 innings, having appeared in 44 games.

Based on his showing in Albuquerque, Willis’ return to affiliated baseball could take him somewhere. The Bees’ radar gun clocked his fastball between 89 and 92 mph Tuesday, and he obviously was effective. If he maintains that level of performance in the PCL, the next issue would become when the Angels would promote him.

They’re hopelessly out of the race in the AL West, but likely would want to evaluate Willis for next year, with their interests balanced by the Bees’ playoff run.

In any case, Willis is one of those guys with impressive big-league backgrounds who occasionally pop up in Triple-A, and he’ll certainly be worth watching as long as he’s here.

kkragthorpe@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribkurt


story continues below



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.