June 11, 2008

D-Train Derailed

After his most dismal outing of an atrocious season, Dontrelle Willis has been sent to Class A Lakeland by the Tigers. That's right, A Ball! Of pitchers with 4 or more starts, the D-Train has the worst ERA in MLB at 10.32. He has only managed to get through 11.1 innings so far, and has allowed 21 walks in that time. He has only appeared once without giving up any ER, and only went 5 IP once. Good thing the Tigers gave him $29 million over 3 years.

Bad mechanics lead to poor control.

The Tigers should have seen this coming. Last year, Dontrelle had the worst ERA of his career at 5.17, and failed to throw a single complete game for the first time. His walks were up in the last two years from his consistent rate between 2003 and 2005, and the 10-15 record didn't inspire confidence, even from a struggling Marlins team. The D-Train just hasn't been the same since 2005, when he set career bests in ERA, IP, wins, K's, CG, shutouts, HRs allowed, and BBs allowed.

Lesson to be learned:
Trade with the Marlins at your own risk. If it's not yet obvious to everyone, the Marlins' GM and scouts are by far the best in the majors. How else do you scrape together a competitive team on a shoestring, sell all the good players, and then be competitive again in two years or less? The Marlins' talent evaluation and player development is unmatched, so if you're trading with them, you have to know you're not getting the better end of the deal. The Tigers gave up 6 good young players for Willis and Cabrera, who's hitting .278 with 8 HRs and 38 RBIs (not All-Star caliber at all). Even the Josh Beckett trade, which you could argue worked out well for the Red Sox, netted the Marlins an All-Star caliber shortstop and a couple pitching prospects who might still work out. Beckett has been great in the playoffs, but his first year's ERA after joining Boston was 5.01.

Gotta love the Marlins and their ability to win with nobodies.

Usually trading has the advantage of giving you a player already under contract, avoiding the exorbitant prices of free agents. However, stripping your farm system for fading talent isn't the best solution either.

2 Responses:

J-Red said...

I agree this speaks more highly of the Marlins than of anything else.

It gives me pleasure to know that the Nats are the worst-run organization in their division.

big tuna said...

Well hopefully they will get him straightened out. D-Train was very open to the move which speaks highly of him. If he doesn't get his command back maybe he could come back as a hitter.

And by the way, the Tigers gave up two good young players and four throw ins.

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