Dontrelle Willis went AWOL from the Orioles

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This morning we asked what was up with Dontrelle Willis and his heretofore unexplained trip to the Orioles’ restricted list. Jon Heyman has an explanation. Dude went AWOL:

The Orioles gave no official reason Sunday for why he was placed on the restricted list, but Duquette to CBSSports.com confirmed Willis left the team without permission following a difference of opinion about whether he should start or reliever. “He just left,” said Duquette when confronted with the information from other sources.

Wow. if Willis thinks he should start, he shouldn’t be on the restricted list, he should be on the insane list.  For what it’s worth, Heyman says that Duquette says that he’d still like D-Train as a reliever.  And really, the only way he’s going to have value to anyone is as a lefty specialist, so Willis should probably listen to Duquette.

And, you know, not go AWOL.

Umpire ejects Adrian Beltre for moving on-deck circle

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As far as ejections go, this is one of the stranger ones you’ll hear about. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was ejected in the bottom of the eighth inning of a game his team trailed at the time 18-6. Beltre was a few feet away from the circle towards home plate and was asked by Marlins pitcher Drew Steckenrider to get into the circle. So rather than step a few feet back to his right, Beltre picked up the circle and dragged it to where he was. And that got him ejected by second base umpire Gerry Davis. Manager Jeff Banister was also ejected after having a word with Davis.

Here’s a video from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:

Beltre, by the way, went 3-for-3 with a walk, a pair of doubles, and a solo home run. He’s now four hits away from 3,000 for his career.

Video: Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford hits an inside-the-park grand slam

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Phillies shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford’s stock has fallen sharply this season. He had an abysmal first three months, batting .203/.321/.276 in 291 plate appearances. Baseball America rated him the 12th overall prospect in baseball going into the season and rated him No. 92 in their midseason top 100. It was bad.

Since the calendar turned to July, however, Crawford has been more like his normal self. In 92 at-bats this month entering Wednesday night’s action, he was hitting .300/.391/.650 with six home runs, 13 RBI, 18 runs scored, and a terrific 15/12 K/BB ratio.

Crawford padded his stats more on Wednesday night as he circled the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam. Via the IronPigs Twitter:

Crawford was actually dead-to-rights at home, but he fooled the catcher with a great late slide.

Crawford finished 1-for-3 with a walk along with the slam on the night as the IronPigs beat the Gwinnett Braves 8-2.