Dontrelle Willis will become 17th pitcher to start for Tides tonight

Tonight, Dontrelle Willis will start a game for the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate, the Norfolk Tides.

That in itself is news because Willis, the 2003 National League Rookie of the Year and 2005 NL Cy Young Award runner-up, left the Tides earlier this season because he wanted to start and wasn't given the opportunity.


The 30-year-old Willis is back and is pitching against Toledo. But that is not the crazy part.

What's crazy is this: Willis becomes the 17th different pitcher to start a game for the Tides this year. It's June. Tonight marks their 77th game.


The Orioles have used six starting pitchers this season.

And the Tides – maybe you didn't get this the first time – have nearly tripled that number.

Here's the breakdown, with number of starts, courtesy of the Tides' PR staff:

Chris Tillman, 14; Jason Berken, 13; Brad Bergesen, 10; Steve Johnson, 9; Dana Eveland, 6; Miguel Gonzalez, 5; Zach Britton, 4; Jamie Moyer, 3; Eddie Gamboa, 3; Joel Pineiro, 2; Zach Clark, 2; Tommy Hunter, 1; Chris George, 1; Oscar Villarreal, 1; Tsuyoshi Wada, 1; Rick Zagone, 1; Dontrelle Willis, 1.