TCR Friday Notes

The big news is that the Cardinals have struck again on the trade market acquiring Matt Holliday from the Oakland A's for 2008 1st round pick Brett Wallace, RHP Clayton Mortensen and OF Shane Peterson. Wallace was a 5-star prospect according to Kevin Goldstein to begin the season and #2 on John Sickels list, with Mortensen and Peterson being "C+" prospects according to Sickels. Apparently being too right-handed isn't a concern for them as they're lineup could be Molina, Pujols, DeRosa, Ryan, Glaus, Holliday, *Rasmus and Ludwick.  Of course Glaus isn't back yet, and he'll probably be given a lot of days off when he does return but that's what their lineup could look like down the stretch.

Good news for the Cubs is that when Alfonso Soriano, Milton Bradley and Aramis Ramirez really start hitting, it'll be like making a trade.

(slams head in door)

I don't think this guarantees anything for the Cardinals, but it certainly doesn't hurt them this year, so....crap.

- Joe Posnanski, one of the few sports columnists I seek out to read, recently came out with his top 100 list of players right now. The only Cubs to make the list are Aramis Ramirez at #80 and Carlos Zambrano at #92. The TLFC is naturally upset over the omission of Ted Lilly.

I could spend a lot of time picking the list apart, but then I realized that my own attempt would probably come up with just as many issues. There's just no way to do something like that and for everyone not to hate it.

Beyond that list though, I do recommend Joe's blog, one of the better sports writers out there in my opinion and his conversations with Bill James on are probably the most entertaining baseball reads on the web.

- Speaking of lists, Fangraphs recently did a series on the Top 50 players ranked by trade value with no Cubs making the cut and you'll see what I mean that these lists are ripe for anger.

- Found this link from Ruz's blog on how the Red Sox pitchers dissect the strike zone. A pretty in-depth and technical article on how pitchers attack hitters.

- Ryan Dempster's toe X-ray showed "excellent healing" and he should be back in the rotation next Wednesday (maybe Tuesday now with Lilly going down). Pitching match-ups for this weekend are Harang vs. Wells, Cueto vs. Hart and Owings vs. Harden. Ted Lilly was scratched from his start tomorrow with a sore left shoulder, exam tomorrow....ruh roh.

Today's lineups...

Dickerson RF Fukudome CF
Taveras CF Theriot SS
Votto 1B Lee 1B
Phillips 2B Ramirez 3B
Encarnacion 3B Bradley RF
Nix LF Soriano LF
Hanigan C Fontenot 2B
Gonzalez SS Hill C
Harang P Wells P


- If only this headline from the Miami Herald was true (thanks to 10man for the link)...

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I smell smoke coming from the Ted Lilly fanclub supercomputer...

You had me going there. I was thinking Roy H. Now back to original thought about the Cards: ...hatred.

Everyone seems to be confusing the two...

on my ride in to work, had XM radio on and they had Jim Kaat on for a phone interview and asked him about the trade just as it just happened and he was shocked and surprised the Cardinals got Halladay. When they corrected him, he was like, "well, he has been good before".

That being said, Holliday has picked it up since his awful start and I'm sure coming back to the NL won't hurt.

I'm starting Harang on my fantasy team. I'll be happy/sad no matter what happens.

Joe: sounds like a rx of lithium would help...plan B, inhale some party balloons

Can I get a prescription from you for that? Does it have any negative reactions with Citalopram?

With Harden going Sunday-

Any chance to get the game moved to Cincy and played at night?

Baseball prospectus has helium as the #2 prospect, lithium is #3


Santo is back in the booth

vs. Cubs

PA  	AB  	R  	H  	2B  	3B  	HR
117  	99  	18  	30  	4  	1  	3  	
RBI  	SB  	CS  	BB  	SO  	BA  	OBP  	SLG  	OPS
12  	4  	1  	16  	22  	.303  	.402  	.455  	.856

@ Wrigley

PA  	AB  	R  	H  	2B  	3B  	HR  	
56  	48  	8  	11  	1  	0  	1  	
RBI  	SB  	CS  	BB  	SO  	BA  	OBP  	SLG  	OPS
4  	2  	1  	8  	10  	.229  	.339  	.313  	.652

@ St. Louis

PA  	AB  	R  	H  	2B  	3B  	HR  	
46  	39  	8  	15  	2  	1  	5  	
RBI  	SB  	CS  	BB  	SO  	BA  	OBP  	SLG  	OPS
7  	0  	0  	6  	8  	.385  	.478  	.872  	1.350

Judd sirott on wgn pregame said Lilly's test will be an mri-arthrogram...which involves an injection of dye to enhance the imaging

Not to start an argument, but . . .

I think several NL teams wouldn't want Aramis at third, and may or may not be able to make room for him at first. Any AL team would be glad to have him.

Whereas every team would love to welcome Marmol and Zambrano.

I would give Marmol the nod as the Cubs' most valuable property.

If we had this talk three months ago, it would have probably been Geovany Soto as the Cubs most valuable trade property followed by Marmol, Ramirez and Zambrano.

How things change...

there's also a big difference between player value on the field and trade value and I'm not sure which one you're focusing on...

late lineup change, Gomes in for Nix...

not sure how Dickerson missed Ramirez's ball in right center, looked like he was there and then let up right at the last sec thinking Taveras might catch it...

Soriano just missed a nice leaping catch on Encarnacion's double, then hit up against the wall and a second baseball fell out of the ivy...wonder how long that's been there?

in other news, teams are starting to hit Randy Wells...

Randy is not, ah, sharp.

Gets the big out at the plate, then serves up a 3-run bomb to the pitcher.


Randy just lofted a fly ball to center, but couldn't hit it out. He just doesn't have the sheer power of an Aaron Harang.

*slams head in Rob G's door*

"Speaking of lists, Fangraphs recently did a series on the Top 50 players ranked by trade value"

That list has Troy Tulowitzki ranked ahead of Joe Mauer. An OK power, no average, high strikeout SS over the best catcher of the last 10 years with developing power who might hit .400 some day. Sure.

well, as their write-ups say, Tulo is signed for the next 4-5 years or whatever at a good rate and Mauer is a free agent in a year and a half...

so would you trade Tulo straight up if you're the Rockies for Mauer? I doubt it...

nonetheless, we could argue all day about who should go where...

I don't think the Rockies could even offer Tulo straight up for Mauer with a straight face.

so why don't we just give up on Bradley batting left handed and switch him around. Maybe he has lost his bat speed from the left side or something. He seems just fine right handed tho. Think this is something they might consider doing?

Agree -- they either need to tell him to hit RH all the time, or platoon him with someone who can hit RH pitching.

They can't afford an automatic out in the middle of the lineup -- doesn't matter how much they are paying him.

Its nice to have ARam back in the line up.

At work, cant watch game.

Is Aram turning the corner?

definitely looking better, drove the ball to right center and crushed one to left...

Has Theriot got a musician brother?

heh...oak calls up e.pat to replace holliday.

looks like he'll get a 2-week break regardless of the exam...

"Lilly was disabled with shoulder tendinitis in Toronto twice in 2005. He'll eventually have arthroscopic surgery on the shoulder, but whether that's during or after the season depends on how he recovers."

That's not good.

The Holliday trade and the Lilly injury are really going to put some pressure on Hendry to do something (along with Milton's 2K's in his first two at bats). Makes me wonder if they won't get in on Lee. The Fontenaught's 2 HR week will likely cool the pursuit of a second basemen.

what's to be done?

the OF is full of talent and the IF is covered at the corners.

SS/2nd/C...not much around that's impact.

Freddy Sanchez from the Pirates? A Brian Roberts/Sherril package from the Orioles?

Roberts just signed an extension, he's not available...

Sanchez has an $8M vesting option tied to PA's for 2009 which looks like it'll hit. Unless they can negotiate a buyout, I'm really not keen on getting Sanchez for more than the stretch run and not at $8M.

Trade for Lee as a rental, then trade him again in the offseason if his contract is too much to keep.

That's pretty poor journalism to take a shoulder problem from 4 years ago and extrapolate that he needs his shoulder scoped...particularly before the info from the mri-arthrogram...unless he was quoting someone but I don't see quotes or a source (paul sullivan, m.d.)

twice on the dl for shoulder symptoms in 2005 and he didn't have it operated on? Omygosh...get Dr Sullivan a scalpel...for locker room surgery...prep that patient...get Carrie Muskat to administer the anesthestics

Want a lefty from the farm? I've seen Casey Fossum's last 2 starts; both strong - not walking anybody...

Bruce Levine mentioned Hendry going to the Pirates trough again...not sure how real his names are...but said Tom Gorzelanny and Grabow...Gorzelanny doesn't make sense, either he's injured or just bad.

I'd take Zack Duke and Matt Capps though

Grabow would be a good pickup.

Sources have informed the Philadelphia Inquirer that the Blue Jays want Kyle Drabek, J.A. Happ and Dominic Brown for ace Roy Halladay.

via Rotoworld...

my sources have just confirmed that crack cocaine is currently abundant, cheap, and top quality in toronto.

latest update on the Cubs...

Wrigley trashed again by concerts...

Comment number 2 from your link, Rob:

"It is a little early to pass judgment on the season - but it is obvious the Cubs have a mediocre beat writer."

I just realized why no one should worry.

All the big bats in the Cardinal lineup are right handed. The are not left-handed enough to win.

Holliday went 4-5 today. Your non-sarcastic assessment is wrong.

but i think the sarcastic one might be right

Bruce Levine's blog confirms my mention of the Pirates that Hendry is considering.

BL needs a better spell checker...miniscus? (meniscus, maybe he meant a mini Scus, whatever a Scus is, sucky cubs underachieving slugger?)...

BL speculating that if Lilly goes on the DL for his shoulder so he might have his knee scoped while he is waiting for the shoulder to improve is pretty much of a stretch and would be a bad/risky decision as sometimes it takes longer than 3 weeks to recover from a knee scope for a torn meniscus (can be up to 6 weeks).
Lefties Joe Beimel of Washington, George Sherrill of Baltimore and Pittsburgh's John Grabow are relievers the Cubs are watching for a possible trade this week. The trading deadline is 3 p.m. CT on July 31.

Pittsburgh starter Tom Gorzelanny might also be a short-term answer to the left-handed starting problem the Cubs may incur if Lilly goes on the disabled list.

If Lilly is sidelined with the shoulder problem, he may elect to have his left knee scoped if his miniscus cartilage needs repair. That type of surgery, according to medical sources, would have a three-week recovery time.

Lilly Chronicles III, July 05:

Lilly was out twice with shoulder problems in 2005. Initially in spring training then in July (biceps tendonitis).

Ted Lilly could feel the pain in his pitching arm before his last start, but he willfully ignored it to take the mound. The southpaw explained his perspective on Tuesday, and he also confirmed his injury is a case of biceps tendinitis.

"The other day was a situation where I didn't want to press the panic button too early," said Lilly, who should miss at least one start. "Obviously, as a pitcher, you go through some times where you have some [discomfort] in your arm. There have been times where I didn't say anything, and then it's gone.

Lilly Chronicles II, early season 05:


s Ted Lilly hurt? When will he start pitching up to his capabilities?
-- Jim B., New York

Lilly may be hiding a little bit of discomfort, but he's told the media that his shoulder is completely healed and that his early pitching returns have nothing to do with the tendinitis he dealt with for most of Spring Training. Assuming he's telling the truth, there are a few potential reasons for his struggles.

One is that he just tried to come back too quickly. Lilly wasn't able to pitch in any genuine exhibition games -- he was stuck working in simulated games and against Minor League opponents while his teammates were getting the legitimate Grapefruit League experience. In that respect, his first few starts of the season are actually his Spring Training. Lilly went through the same thing in 2004, and he didn't gain all his strength back until mid-May or early June.

No. 2 deals with his mental state of mind. Lilly may have all his stuff without being able to use it correctly. The southpaw likes to mix his pitches in random fashion and get the hitters thinking, a style of pitching that requires consistent mechanics and dead-solid precision. If he's off -- even by a few inches or a few decisions -- it can throw the rest of his game out of whack. If he's unable to find his rhythm, it doesn't really matter what kind of stuff he has that day.

The final theory is also the least exotic. Lilly may be perfectly fine, despite the fact that he hasn't pitched well. His only positive start was his debut, when he tamed the Boston bats largely on adrenaline. Since then, he's had two largely forgettable starts -- against Texas and New York, teams that boast two of the league's most potent offensive lineups. Lilly may not have been at his best, but those batters can make you look that way.

Lilly Chronicles IV, after a 10-11 season:


"To put it very mildly, I'm disappointed in the way I've gone out there and competed," Lilly said Wednesday after his last start of the season. "I guess, coming into this year, I just expected us to be competitive in this league. And [I expected] myself to really make a push to help us do that."

To be fair, injuries played a large part in his inability to meet those goals. Lilly missed all of Spring Training with a case of shoulder tendinitis, and when he came back, he clearly wasn't ready to pitch in the big leagues.

Lilly chronicles I, spring training:

Last year, Lilly spent most of Spring Training battling the effects of a sprained wrist. This year, he came to Dunedin with a sore shoulder and wasn't able to throw from the mound until last week. He still hasn't faced live batters, and he won't do that until Wednesday, when he pitches in a simulated game.

The decision was made and the opinion noted. Ted Lilly's last-minute appeal was denied on Monday when the Blue Jays announced their starting rotation for the first six games of the regular season.
Lilly, battling back from shoulder tendinitis, will be on the disabled list when the regular season begins. If all goes according to plan, he'll be activated to start the sixth game of the season. That means the earliest Lilly will debut is April 10, a full five days after he wanted to pitch.

"It makes perfect sense not to rush him, because he's got the whole year ahead of him," said Toronto manager John Gibbons. "I know he wants to go that second day in Tampa Bay, but we decided this was better for him."

Starting the season on the DL...
4/10/05 Activated LHP Ted Lilly from the 15-day disabled list

7/30/05 Placed LHP Ted Lilly on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 25, with left biceps tendinitis.

9/6/05 Activated LHP Ted Lilly from the 15-day disabled list

so his DL stint starting in July 2005 was 5 weeks for biceps tendonitis. I don't see what diagnostic imaging they did that season but it probably was just a conventional MRI.

The arthrogram-MRI is an enhanced study which is better able to look at small rotator cuff tears, labrum tears or detachments of the biceps tendon off the glenoid (shoulder socket). It's the same test most recently used on Rich Harden (10/08) and Carlos Zambrano (mid 2008).

Lilly Chronicles V:

Lilly in 2006, his last season in Toronto, didn't have any shoulder issues after resting the problem through the offseason. Here's his 2006 line:

2006: 181 IP, 15-13, 179H, 81BB, 160K, 1.43 WHIP, 4.31 ERA

but I did find this one mention in a spring 2006 article saying that his shoulder problems may have been related to having a stiff landing with his right leg... having implications that his knee/meniscus issues this year may hbe a cascade injury, particularly since tendonitis often develops over time rather than an abrupt event (hence knee problem leads to shoulder problem):

•Last year, he said he had a tendency to have a "stiff" landing with his right leg, which put unnecessary strain on his throwing shoulder. Perhaps not coincidentally, Lilly sat out last spring with a shoulder injury.

Sat 9:19 am...Bruce Levine says MRI-Arthrogram "didn't show up anything significant " and Lilly will go on the DL

Justin Berg called up

Levine still going with possiblity of knee meniscus scope too

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