Friday 5: D-Train to Flaming Bagpipes?

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August 03, 2011: Willis delivers a first inning pitch against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

1. Even though Dontrelle Willis only spent part of one season in a Reds uniform, he quickly became a fan favorite. These days, the D-Train can be found on the mound pitching for the Long Island Ducks, a team in the independent Atlantic League.

The Reds have plucked (forgive the pun) a player or two from the Atlantic League. Willis is looking for another chance to make it to the bigs. According to former Marlins and current Duck teammate, catcher Ramon Castro, D-Train is ready. Howard Megdal from Sports on Earth with this from Castro about Willis.

“That guy is ready,” Castro said as we sat and talked on a couch, Castro reclining in a Ducks’ t-shirt hours before he caught the second game of Monday’s doubleheader. “It’s too bad to see a guy wasted here. A lefty? He should be helping bullpens, or starting.”

Helping bullpens? Not sure the FO would consider bringing Willis back to Cincy, but some might think at this point, what could it hurt?

Castro himself is looking to return to the ranks of the MLB. Besides playing for the Marlins, he also has stints with the Mets and White Sox.

FYI, former Reds farmhand Ben Broussard plays in the Atlantic League as well. You may remember Broussard as being the guy heading to Cleveland in exchange for Russell Branyan.

(H/T: Sports on Earth)

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