A couple of weeks ago, Dontrelle Willis left the Orioles. He says he did so with permission. The Orioles said he was AWOL. The team put him on the restricted list. Willis filed a grievance and his agent went off on the Orioles. That relationship looked to be over.
But cooler heads have prevailed: Jerry Crasnick reports that Willis has dropped his grievance and will rejoin the team.
The apparent reason: the Orioles are going to let him try starting. Word at the time was that Willis left the team for the precise reason that he wanted to start, not be a relief pitcher. Never mind that most people figure that the only shot Willis has of keeping a job in baseball now is as a lefty specialist.
So, peace in our time. I suspect that Willis is going to regret getting what he asked for, but at least everyone has stopped bickering.
Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports that the Red Sox are considering using Mookie Betts at second base when the Dodgers host Game 3, 4, and 5 of the World Series in Los Angeles. That would allow J.D. Martinez to remain in the lineup as an outfielder, since the DH rule would not be in effect.
Betts, 26, has played a bit of second base in the big leagues. He played 122 innings there in his rookie season in 2014 and played another six innings there on August 3 this year against the Yankees. Betts also entered Boston’s minor league system as a middle infielder, so it’s not like the Red Sox are asking someone completely unqualified to handle the position. Given what else we know about Mookie Betts, such as the fact he can solve a Rubik’s cube in less than two minutes and he has bowled a 300 in the Professional Bowlers Association, he is basically good at anything he decides to do.
That being said, Betts was noticeably not very productive at the plate during the ALCS against the Astros. He hit just .217 with no home runs in 25 plate appearances. The Red Sox are certainly hoping he heats up against the Dodgers.