On Z's Return, Lilly's Exit, and Girardi's No-Comment

— A season-high crowd of nearly 13,000—more than 5,000 above than the I-Cubs' average—was on hand for Carlos Zambrano's rehab appearance last night in Des Moines. 

Zambrano threw a bumpy but scoreless inning in which he got 10 of 15 pitches over the plate, but allowed two singles and was saved from a third hit by Sam Fuld's catch against the center-field wall. (See Mike Wellman's full account here.)

 

Current plans are for Zambrano to pitch in Round Rock over the weekend and then in Albuquerque on Tuesday before rejoining the big club in Colorado.

— In her short list of moves that "today's contenders should make to make sure they're winners tomorrow," Christina Kahrl of Baseball Prospectus (subscription required) says the Yankees should go hard after Ted Lilly as a replacement for the injured Andy Pettite.

Valid concerns about Lilly's flagging velocity aside, a big problem for him this season has been location against left-handers, leading to a return of the bass-ackward platoon splits that hampered his performance in 2008. With the Yankees, he'd have the advantage of pitching with great run support in a ballpark that is turning out to be less of a launching pad than initially expected. He has experience pitching in pennant races, experience pitching in pinstrips, and he wouldn't come in having to be a star, just deliver effective starts...and let the offense grind opponents to dust.

Lilly bounced between starting and relief duties as a Yankee from 2000-02, going 8-12, 4.65.

By the way, Kahrl says the Yankees could offer the Cubs Class 'A' second-base prospect Corban Joseph in return for Lilly. The 21-year-old Joseph is hitting .309/.386/.450 in the pitcher-dominated Florida State League this summer.

— In case you doubted it, Joe Girardi is more interested in winning another World Series right now than in discussing the soon-to-be-open job with the Cubs.

From the New York Daily News (which broke the Piniella story in the first place):

“I figured this would come up once Lou announced his retirement. I have a responsibility to this club and the guys in that room, and that’s my concern. People can speculate all they want, but that’s my concern right now. I don’t really think much about it.”

And also this:

“I love it here; I’ve loved my time here,” Girardi said. “I put my kids in school here and they’re enrolled to go to school here next fall. There’s going to be talk; I grew up there, I grew up a Cubs fan, I went to Northwestern, I lived in Chicago. But my concern is right now.”

— Jeff Suppan (0-5, 6.05; 6-9, 3.92 all-time vs. Cubs) goes against Randy Wells (4-7, 4.33; 0-2, 10.13 all-time vs. Cards) in Friday's opener of a three-game series with still Roy-Oswalt-less St. Louis. Including today, the teams will meet 12 more times this season.

Comments

damn, you beat me to the punch again!

Rosenthal says the Yankees aren't interested in Lilly.

http://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/19280...

Could just be angling for a better deal?

So much for Christina Kahrl.

Iowa attendance not because of Z:

(from the 'rehap' link)

And Zambrano wasn’t the draw.

It was Casey Blake bobblehead night.

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  • First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!

    billybucks 6 hours 15 min ago view
  • I. Hate. The. Mets.

    billybucks 6 hours 44 min ago view
  • OK Marlins -- take 'em down. Fernandez, at home, tomorrow for the Fish.

    Gotta say, though -- as much as I can't stand them, the Cardinals have had some very impressive late-inning wins against premier closers.

    billybucks 6 hours 44 min ago view
  • Very impressive that he hit a 3-2 curve ball. Such a dynamic ballplayer. If he ever learns the strike zone....

    billybucks 6 hours 50 min ago view
  • If Jason Hammel doesn't get a potato chip sponsorship deal, somebody messed up. Attaboy, Jason!

    billybucks 6 hours 53 min ago view
  • I am looking forward to AChap facing the Cardinals.

    The E-Man 7 hours 1 min ago view
  • Sure is fun to watch them score finally. To think they were no-hit until the 7th...

    The E-Man 7 hours 13 min ago view
  • Got to admit it - it was comforting seeing Rondon come out for the eighth after just taking a two run lead ... And put the hammer down with a 7 pitch inning. Good stuff

    Eric S 7 hours 18 min ago view
  • GRAND SLAM RUSSELL

    blown the hell open...7 run lead

    crunch 7 hours 19 min ago view
  • 11 hits off Wainwright tonight. Everything going right for the Cards right now. Motherfucking motherfuckers.

    The E-Man 7 hours 29 min ago view
  • it was more no-doubt than bryant's HR. it wont make any end-of-season highlight reels, but that one was booked to leave on contact.

    crunch 7 hours 38 min ago view
  • Javy! Javy! Javy!

    How sweet was that - Cranked it!

    393 happy feet

    Eric S 7 hours 45 min ago view
  • baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaez!

    cubs take a 2 run lead in the 7th. sweet.

    crunch 7 hours 49 min ago view
  • ...and the Cards tie and take the lead in the 9th. off Familia.

    blockhead25 7 hours 53 min ago view
  • Familia blows his first save of the season -- gives up 2 in 9th to the Cards.

    Not much going our way these days.

    billybucks 7 hours 53 min ago view
  • bryant's back!

    no-doubt HR towering to CF...tie game.

    crunch 8 hours 10 min ago view