Willis files grievance

Willis files grievance

Willis files grievance
BALTIMORE -- Dontrelle Willis filed a grievance Tuesday afternoon against the Orioles. He left the team's Triple-A Norfolk affiliate without the organization's permission after being placed on the Minor League restricted list.

Matt Sosnick is Willis' agent and told MLB.com on Tuesday that the pitcher wanted to get back to being a starter and not come out of the bullpen.

"We have not been contact[ed] by one team," Sosnick said. "We don't have a job lined up ... all we want to do is find a job in Triple-A where he can start. Out of respect for the process and the rules, Dontrelle never would have left if they told us he couldn't. He's having a really hard time going through the process of relieving. He's much more comfortable starting and going through the process of starting."

Willis asked for his release last Wednesday or Thursday and has been gone since Thursday.

O's executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette confirmed to MLB.com on Monday that Willis had left Norfolk, and there were no plans to grant Willis his official release.

At the time, Duquette also told MLB.com that he hasn't spoken with Willis since the pitcher left Norfolk.

The 30-year-old Willis sat down with Duquette while the team was playing at Gwinnett (Ga.) on Thursday, and Duquette said the organization laid out a plan to get Willis the innings he needed to build him up to be a successful reliever. Duquette said Willis didn't have a problem with the plan at the time, and the organization is still holding out hope that Willis will return.

Signed to a Minor League deal by Baltimore after being released this spring by the Phillies, the plan from the get-go was to have Willis learn to become a lefty specialist. He suffered a left forearm strain April 12 and was placed on the restricted list -- with no specific reasoning for the move -- on Sunday night.