Never Say Die
A couple of my old favorites — Dontrelle Willis and Pat Misch — are back from the baseball wilderness, having signed minor league deals with the Milwaukee Brewers and Miami Marlins respectively. Neither has pitched in the major leagues since 2011, and both are 33 years old. While that certainly doesn’t sound promising, you never know.
Misch is a pitcher who always struck me as taking a very modest talent as far as he possible could. However, he was a fifth round draft pick (by the Astros) in the 2002 draft and a seventh round pick (by the Giants) in 2003, which is not low as draft picks go. However, both his major and minor league numbers suggest a guy who made his living by throwing strikes and knowing how to pitch, rather than featuring any kind of good stuff.
Misch last pitched in AAA in 2013 and appears to have been cut on merit (he had a 5.07 ERA in the pitcher-friendly International League) about half way through the season. After more than a year off, he’s attempting a comeback, and the Marlins at least are game.
Willis made two brief relief appearances for the AAA Fresno Grizzlies early last Spring, got hurt again and was promptly released. He made two starts in the Independent-A Atlantic League where he’d pitched much of 2013, I assume late in the season, and was hit pretty hard.
The fact that Pat and Dontrelle are still trying to resurrect their professional careers after so many seasons of what can only be regarded as failure is either a testament to perseverance or an indication that they should look into becoming coaches so they can stay in the game in some capacity.