Willis received approximately $139,000 as termination pay (30 days' salary). If he was still on the roster Saturday, he was guaranteed another 15 days' pay, which is approximately $69,000.
Willis allowed five runs in 22/3 innings this spring. He pitched a scoreless inning Thursday, but only after walking the first batter he faced on five pitches. Willis had been a starter his entire career before this spring, and the transition to the bullpen was not smooth.
He did not record a strikeout while walking four, continuing the trend of control issues that derailed a once-promising career.
The Phillies announced his release at 10:13 a.m., and Willis left the complex minutes later. A half-hour later, all that remained in his corner locker were three bats and some Phillies clothing. A large cardboard box sat in front of it.
Willis expressed optimism following Thursday's outing, but it was too little, too late.
When he induced an inning-ending double play, he pounded his left fist into his glove and said a quick prayer while skipping off the field. Ultimately, it was his last act as a Phillie.
"I take it just like a game situation because honestly it is," Willis said then. "That's the type of situation I'll get put in at [Citizens Bank Park] and Atlanta and those places, and I'm facing guys I might face in the big leagues."
Willis went 68-54 with a 3.78 ERA in 162 starts for the Marlins from 2003-07. Since then, he is 4-15 with a 6.15 ERA in 40 starts and three relief appearances. He was already gone from Bright House Field after the Phillies announced his release, and was unavailable for comment.
The Phillies have a slew of lefthanded relievers in camp, including minor-leaguers Joe Savery, Jake Diekman and Jeremy Horst and major-league veterans Raul Valdes and David Purcey. The Phillies already have six relievers who are all but locks to make the team. If they keep a seventh, it won't necessarily be a lefthander, both Amaro and pitching coach Rich Dubee said. Righthanders David Herndon and Brian Sanches are among the pitchers who will have a shot at that last spot in the bullpen.
The only guarantee is that Willis will not be part of the picture.
Inquirer staff writer Matt Gelb contributed to this article.
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