Come Back, Dontrelle, Come Back

I was sad to see the Twins lose today, but awfully glad to see Dontrelle Willis pitched six shutout innings with six Ks.  It was his best effort since September 10, 2006 — shades of Francisco Liriano.

I’ve always been a big Dontrelle fan.  He’s from Oakland, in the NL he was a pitcher that could really hit, and like another Bay Area native C. C. Sabathia (he’s from Vallejo) you could always tell that Dontrelle loved playing the game.

Also, as someone who has suffered from depression, I’m rooting for Dontrelle to come back from it, although I still suspect his major league pitching problems had a lot more to do with throwing too many pitches at too young an age, rather than from an untreated mental illness.

In short, I would love to see Dontrelle thrill fans in Detroit the way he did fans in Miami a few years ago.

I also noticed that the Jay-Hey Kid hit his fifth homerun of the young season today.  Heyward is only hitting .239 after tonight’s game, but he still has a .365 on-base percentage due to 13 walks and hit-by-pitch in roughly 85 plate appearances.  Granted, that isn’t much of a sample size, but if you have a 20 year old kid with Heyward’s talent with that level of plate discipline already, the sky’s the limit on what he can become.

In fact, the biggest concern about Heyward at this point in terms of the long-term is the fact that he’s so big.  He’s listed at 6’4″ and 220 lbs by espn.com, but I suspect that the 240 lbs listed by si.c0m is probably more accurate.  That’s one big boy for age 20, and one has to wonder if that won’t catch up with him in future years.  Other than that, I can’t find much not to like.

Magglio Ordonez collected his 2,000th major league hit today.  His contract issues (whether the Tigers would keep him in the line-up and allow his enormous 2010 salary to vest) got all the attention last year when he wasn’t hiiting a lick half way through the season.  Still, although he never did find his power stroke last year, he finished the season with a .310 batting average and .376 on-base percentage, which are both awfully good.

Ordonez has played his career in an extreme hitters’ era, but his career .312 batting average through age 36 is still exceptional.  By way of comparison, Manny Ramirez, who is a no-doubt-about-it Hall-of-Famer even with the clubhouse drama and the PED use, has a career batting average of .314.  Manny’s clearly a better hitter than Magglio — for example, Manny has the slightly higher batting average despite being two years older — but the fact that Magglio is at least comparable to Manny in this regard says a lot about just how great a hitter Magglio has been.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers, Florida Marlins, Minnesota Twins

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