Dontrelle Willis did not stay in Triple-A very long. The Giants signed the lefty to a minor league deal back in January and officially added him to the Grizzlies’ roster last week, but Willis made two appearances before suffering an arm injury. The Giants wasted no time in releasing Willis.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is reporting that Willis is now considering becoming a pitching coach, and has had “a couple feelers” according to his agent Matt Sosnick.
One can imagine Willis teaching a young left-hander his unorthodox wind-up for some easy laughs, but Willis could also be valuable given his experience, his battles with adversity, and his general positive demeanor. Willis last completed a full season in the big leagues in 2007, but he has fought tooth-and-nail to get back ever since, which is quite admirable.
The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.
Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.
The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.
Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.
Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.