Originally posted on The GM's Perspective  |  Last updated 4/7/13
The D-Train is either running out of steam, or is just about to leave the station. I’ll choose the later.  Dontrelle Willis is a former 20-game winner, was the 2003 National League Rookie of the Year, and was one of the most charismatic pitchers the game has ever seen. He had a smile that could light up a room and his excitement could be felt throughout the ballpark.  Within two years of his 20 victories he was nearly out of the game.  D-Train won 68 games in his first five years-72 in his career (courtesy of Baseball Reference) Needless to say, things have gone sideways since his days in Florida and now, according to a recent press release, he’s hooked up with the Independent Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League.  A pitcher’s worst fear is not throwing strikes, and Willis has been living a recurring nightmare for years.  When you have more walks than strikeouts in a single season that’s a huge problem and it has been something he hasn’t been able to overcome. Whether it’s mental, ugly mechanics, or over compensating, this is a battle he has been fighting and losing.  Willis last appeared in the majors in 2011 making 13 starts for the Cincinnati Reds going 1-6 with an ERA of 5.00.  The 2005 Cy Young runner-up and two-time All-Star is in relatively unknown waters at this point, but he’s taking a road that many have found recent success on; Independent baseball.  Take Scott Kazmir for example. He was written off after 2011 and had the same problem as Willis; throwing strikes. However, the Sugar Land Skeeters gave him a shot. He worked out the kinks and is now a member of the Cleveland Indians starting rotation (he is currently on the 15-day DL according to ESPN).  For someone who has been on the biggest stage imaginable, Indy baseball should give Willis the opportunity to work on just enjoying the game for what it is. He can work on throwing strikes and getting back to the basics.  At 31, Willis still has a lot of time to figure this out, and for someone who has had the success he’s had, this could be the best thing to ever happen to him.  Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Redskins have discussed possibly signing Hardy

Kimbo Slice’s son set to make MMA debut

Did Bell miss drug tests due to changed phone number?

Brian Cashman defends A-Rod despite season's struggles

Report: Charles’ workload won’t be limited if healthy

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Westbrook doesn’t want trade, will think about extension

Chargers don’t know if Joey Bosa will report to camp

Report: RG3 to be given four out of five first-team reps

Report: Peterson likely entering last season with Vikings

Cubs trade for Chapman a risk, but potential payoff too hard to ignore

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Blue Jays agree to acquire Melvin Upton

Jarron, Jason Collins speak in support of LGBTQ rights at DNC

Von Miller has some wild thoughts about human evolution

The crowning achievement of Sasha Banks

Six best QB battles to watch during training camp

Kobe Bryant called ‘a–hole’ in LeBron James-produced show

Top five storylines heading into MLB trade deadline

Chris Sale’s so-called ‘apology’ was anything but

Ten hottest golfers heading into 2016 PGA Championship

Five NFL sophomores poised to break out in 2016

Tre Mason's family concerned about RB's mental health?

Dion Waiters' deal signals the end of the 2016 money grab

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker