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Elephant Rumblings: Dontrelle Willis moves from A’s TV analyst crew to Dodgers front office

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Portraits of Dontrelle Willis Photo by Robert Seale/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

The D-Train has left the station.

Oakland A’s fans got to enjoy former All-Star pitcher Dontrelle Willis as part of NBC Sports’ TV studio crew of analysts covering the team, but it turns out that was a one-year ticket.

The Los Angeles Dodgers hired Willis to work in their player development department, as a special assistant. He reported the news himself on Twitter.

The Oakland native and Encinal High School (Alameda) alum pitched nine seasons in the majors. He won the Rookie of the Year with the then-Florida Marlins in 2003 and then helped the team to a World Series victory, and two years later he finished runner-up for the NL Cy Young award. He also made the All-Star team both of those summers, all by age 23. The good times didn’t last, as the lefty struggled from 2008-11 and was out of the majors before turning 30, but he still had an excellent and memorable career including an all-time great windup on the mound.

The fan favorite was also one of the best-hitting pitchers of the 21st century, with a career .244 average, .665 OPS, and nine homers in 447 plate appearances. His 75 wRC+ is tied with Mike Hampton for the highest since 2000 among pitchers, in a minimum of 250 plate appearances. (Lower the bar to 100 PAs and you add Owings, Kieschnick, Backe, and Lorenzen above them. Zack Greinke and Carlos Zambrano are next after Willis/Hampton.)

In 2015 Willis began doing TV work for Fox as a national studio analyst, before moving to the A’s beat on NBCS. Now he’ll try his hand in a front office, though he might still be figuring out exactly what his duties are. Best of luck in LA!

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