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.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.