Spring headlines: Phillies release Dontrelle Willis

David Brown
Big League Stew

Baseball is back! Here at Big League Stew, we'll take a quick dash around the league each morning in an attempt to keep you updated on all the springtime story lines.

• The Philadelphia Phillies signing Dontrelle Willis seemed like a good idea back in December, when they added him with the apparent intention of using him as a second left-hander out of the bullpen. Though he has gotten knocked around as a starter the past few seasons while dealing with injuries, his numbers against lefties have been dominant. Mostly.

Yeah, about that ... the Phillies released Willis on Friday morning after he made three appearances this spring. He allowed five runs, five hits and four walks in 2 2/3 innings. No strikeouts. And, to pile on, Willis didn't even realize that the contract he signed was non-guaranteed. Ryan Lawrence of the Delco Times asked him about it recently:

"You'd have to ask my agent that, I think it's guaranteed," a slightly puzzled Willis said last month. "I hope it is. Or else I've got to fire him, you know what I mean? I think it's guaranteed."

But after thinking about it, Willis seem unconcerned.

"I never look at it. Who cares?" Willis said. "It's not about the money for me. It's not like I have one of thee big deals like the starters. That's irrelevant. I just want to get people out. You know what I mean?"

He's got a point, though his ignorance must have been a tad alarming. Oh, Dontrelle. His baseball biography, once so promising, has just gotten sadder. If he's going to get anybody else out, ever, it's not going to be with Philly.

• If you're a Yankees fan heading to Florida this weekend to see Derek Jeter in spring training, stop the Cadillac, do a U-turn and head back to Jersey. He's got a stiff left calf and won't play until at least Tuesday.

• Chien-Ming Wang of the Washington Nationals will miss at least two weeks, manager Davey Johnson says, after straining his left hamstring in an awkward fall covering the first-base bag Thursday.

• Want some good news for a guy in spring training? How about Barry Zito of the San Francisco Giants, continuing to impress with four strong innings against the Mariners?

• Good news time is over. Matt Cain's agent and the Giants are having a tough time coming together on a long-term contract extension. Cain sounds ready to test free-agent waters if necessary.

More sports news from the Yahoo! Sports Minute:

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