Baltimore Orioles hurler Dontrelle Willis has left the team’s Triple-A affiliate without permission, according to CBS.
“He just left,” Orioles general manager Dan Duquette said when asked about the former All-Star’s whereabouts.
Willis reportedly was upset that the Orioles wanted to turn the struggling left-hander into a relief pitcher. The 30-year-old Willis has mysteriously pitched himself out of the major leagues as a starter, despite being one of the more dominant pitchers in the game during his youth. Baltimore had hoped to turn him into a left-handed specialist. Willis, however, reportedly wanted to go to extended spring training in an effort to convert back to a starter.
Last season in 13 games for the Cincinnati Reds he went 1-6 in 13 starts with a 5.00 ERA. His best seasons came from 2003-2006 when he played for the Florida Marlins. In 2003 he was named the National League Rookie of the Year and in 2005 he led the league in wins after going 22-10 with a 2.64 ERA at the age of 23. Since being traded from the Marlins Willis has been able to make just 40 starts in five years, and has posted an ERA above 6.00.