The Ted Lilly Chronicles --The Knee Bone is connected to the Shoulder Bone

Bruce Levine reports Ted Lilly goes to the DL, righty reliever Justin Berg (acquired in the 2005 Matt Lawton trade from the Yankees) gets called up from Iowa. Lilly's MRI-Arthrogram apparently didn't show "any significant abnormalities" (possibly showing tendonitis but no structural damage) but as we've all seen what the media gets to report and what the radiologist and orthopods see isn't always identical.

Levine also says Lilly has agreed to having his sore left knee undergo arthroscopic surgery (scheduled for Monday) to clean up Lilly's meniscus (link to anatomy pic), speculating that he can be back in 3 weeks if they do that now.

From a report on Levine's ESPN-1000 radio show, Lilly said the shoulder got his attention the day after the game in Philly. The shoulder felt "a little unusual". Yesterday he tried to throw and had sharp pain. He said he was familiar with it as it felt like his symptoms in Toronto. Lilly said he expects himself to come back in 3 weeks...

Based on my experience, how long it takes to recover from a knee arthroscopy varies greatly and 3 weeks is certainly possible but continuing to push the envelope on these injuries is like playing with fire. This implies the medical staff thinks Lilly's shoulder injury is a cascade problem, meaning that his knee soreness lead to altered pitching mechanics that secondarily lead to the shoulder problem. I found evidence that they connected his knee and shoulder woes when his shoulder took the brunt of the blame in 2005. 

From this mlb.com article on the Bluejays archive circa Spring 2006:

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.

I did some additional background research on Lilly's shoulder problems from 2005. Back then his diagnosis was biceps tendonitis (link to anatomy drawing). He missed most of spring training and started his season by coming off the DL 4/10/05 but had a rough April and worked through the problem until it flared up at the end of July 05. This lead to a 2nd DL stint lasting 5 weeks. 2005 wasn't kind to Lilly producing a 10-11 record but Lilly is a tough guy and naturally he didn't make his injury an excuse in this end of season interview from the Bluejays site.

"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.

Regarding the 2009 version of Ted Lilly, his shoulder tendonitis/torn knee meniscus might just take 3-5 weeks if they don't push things and add the knee arthroscopic surgery to his recovery list. Getting Lilly back in September is just like trading for an All-Star for the pennant stretch (slamming head in Rob G's door).

A chronology of the Ted Lilly 2005 biceps tendonitis after the fold...

Here's a chronology of Ted Lilly's 2005 shoulder problem ridden season:

Lilly chronicles I, report from spring training 2005:

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."

Lilly Chronicles II, early season 4/25/05:

Mailbag: Is 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 III, before heading to the DL 7/26/05:

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 IV, after a 10-11 season 9/29/05:

"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 V, a healthy Spring 2006:


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.

Sing along with me..

Oh those bones, oh those bones,
oh those skeleton bones.
Oh those bones, oh those bones,
oh those skeleton bones.

Oh mercy how they scare!

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Comments

Harden and Gregg both type A free agents as of right now according to this guy:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/17675287/Rankings-072509

Awesome news, as usual. Why not put the AAA club out there on the field and be done with it...oh, wait a minute...

from ESPN radio, Levine/Dahlgren... 10:50 AM

Lilly said the shoulder got his attention the day after the game in Philly. The shoulder felt "a little unusual". Yesterday he tried to throw and had sharp pain. He said he was familiar with it as it felt like his symptoms in Toronto.

Lilly said he expects himself to come back in 3 weeks...

I doubt that agressive timeframe based on his shoulder symptoms lingering and eventually returning when he came back too soon in April 05.

BJ Ryan expected to go to Iowa on Monday.

Berg to be used in a relief role (obvious, since he didn't get used more than 2-3 innings per appearance in Iowa)

Geo Soto will take batting practice today.

today's lineup: ...no Bradley, Hill still catching

Johnson (CF), Theriot, DLee, ARam, Fukudome (RF), Soriano, Fontenot, Hill, Hart

I am baffled that Pinella won't rest Hill for at least one day. So Fox is that bad? Really?

Injury, opportunity--I have trouble telling those two words apart.

If they're looking for a starter in the next couple of weeks, Cashner is mowing them down at double-A now.

Here's a fun stat: in two partial minor-league seasons, Cashner has given up two home runs.

In 2007, at Daytona and Tennessee, Samardzija gave up 16. Then he yielded 11 more at Tennessee and Iowa in 2008.

Speaking of minor-league stats, Tony Campana stole his 39th and 40th bases at Daytona last night, numbers 50-51 when you add his Peoria steals.

Hasn't Cash been pitching like 3-4 innings a start?

About 5 innings in AA. He threw 82 pitches his last start. Based on the number of fly balls he's given up, that 2 HR's is pretty lucky.

When is Lou going to acknowledge that just because Bradley and Fukudome bat left-handed does not mean they are well suited to hit behind Lee and Ramirez? Both guys are OBP strong, slugging and average weak right now. I get that both of them can't bat second, but one of them can and the other can bat 6th or 7th (behind the Fonz and even Fontenot, whose July numbers are respectable). He could even ignore handedness and bat Fuki leadoff and Bradley 2nd to get some high OBPs at the top of the lineup, since Theriot's continues to hover around .340-.350.

Not many teams would want a player with Bradley's physique batting second. Maybe Oakland, or their midwest branch in Milwaukee, but those teams dispense OBP-flavored Kool-aid instead of Gatorade in the dugout.

Lou's refusal to start Fox at C bites us in the ass. Bases loaded, 1 out and Hill pops to short. Also allows two straight stolen bases, which led to the Reds' first run.

FREE JAKE FOX!

Koyie Hill is to hitting what Dusty Baker is to managing.

Idiocy in cleats.

damn you dusty for putting k.hill in the lineup.

he'll never give a shot to guys like j.fox.

wait, what?

he threw out one of the runners, Fontenot missed the tag...

stupid Fox saturdays...

game is on CSN, isn't it?

remember when you all laughed at me for putting Berg on my Top 15 list and ahead of Atkins....

http://thecubreporter.com/2009/02/17/cubs-prospect...

who's laughing now? who's laughing now?

(tilts head back, cackles manically while petting my cat*)

just kidding of course, but glad to see Berg get a shot, walks too many (should fit right in), but is usually a groundball machine...

*hates cats

Would have made a lot more sense to expose Berg to waivers and do something totally fucking crazy like adding a third catcher to the 40 man.

they could have a 3rd catcher on the 40-man at any point since February...which catcher did we lose because of Berg or Mateo?

You're theory will apply when 10 pitchers are on the major league DL.

not trying to be difficult here, but I'm not following....

Berg is not going to replace Lilly. The 13th man on the staff pitches 5 innings a month. We should have added a catcher to the 40 man and the major league roster. If we lose Berg or Mateo to do that, so be it.

if you're talking about right now, we have 38 on the 40-man, they could add a catcher at any point without exposing anyone to waivers and optioning a pitcher.

If you're talking about when Berg got added to the 40-man to keep him from being exposed to the Rule 5 draft, the Cubs could have added a third catcher at any point since February.

Oh, I thought they had some semblance of a legitimate reason. Maybe there's a gas leak or something in Lou and Hendry's offices and they aren't getting enough oxygen to their hardening brains.

you never know when you'll need 8 relievers for a game...

obviously Berg, Stevens or Samardzija is going back down when Dempster comes back, but I'm guessing someone has some arm tenderness in the bullpen

I understand it's Dave Kaplan, and I understand he's quoting unnamed sources, but he says Detroit has interest in Milton Bradley.

http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/david-kaplan-chica...

His source appears to be Steve "Snarky" Stone, via Paul Sullivan.

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/spor...

Honest to you know how, he's up in the big leagues of media mugs who hold long, long grudges.

"They believe that Bradley would be a much better fit as a DH than as a right fielder"

my god that is retarded right out of the box.

dude's D (bonehead tosses into the stands aside) and his arm the least of his issues.

The proper response is "Yes, it appears his fielding is really throwing him off at the plate. Straight up trade for Polanco?"

How can they say that about a guy who's never lost a ball in the sun?

Here's some other guys who should be DH's by that standard.

Carlos Beltran
Joe Dimaggio

in the comments, it's debunked by Miles via NSBB as well as the Sullivan link

nothing to see here, move along...

http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2009/7/25/962768/tr...

 don't worry, Al's heard the same rumor, it must be true...

some stuff about Haren and the Blue Jays too...

my own off-the-wall rumor...

Vernon Wells/Aaron Hill for Milton Bradley and couple of B/C prospects?

probably wouldn't even need the B/C prospects if the Cubs could take Wells' contract...

No, you're probably right. Taking on another 5 years and 86 million with a full NTC would probably be enough. He can opt out after 2011, but I doubt he would because he wouldn't sign for $21M/yr anywhere else.

Probably wouldn't be able to green light that contract anyway.

just me spitballing...nothing to see here.

Cards down 8-4 in the 7th...

LASER DELAY!!!

now that's some modern baseball.

message deleted due to how 3/44 the info actually is...

it was about a feature on cott's bb contracts that's evidently been there quite a while, but i never noticed.

go cubs, etc...whatever.

I'm actually starting to believe a little bit. I know the Reds are ice cold, but we are due about a thousand 'breaks' at this point. All they need is just a semblence of a respectable offense and this team should be ok.

One things for sure, I'm not scared of the Cardinals.

While they're definitely underachieving, I'd be much more comfortable if we were sure the Cards were done. Derosa, Lugo, and Holliday are bad enough, but St. Louis is obviously blowing their wad for a run this year. I'm just afraid of checking ESPN to see they've added Cliff Lee or Javier Vazquez.

Sorry, but put me down as scared of the Cardinals. I know it won't take 14 to beat them everyday but that new lineup sure looks a lot better than the old one.

Sure they have upgraded but they are still 37-39 since May 1st.

But the point is they didn't have any of those guys for most of the time since May 1. Now they do, and they can be expected to play somewhat better baseball. So the Cubs had better, too.

Cubs
7 vs Brewers
7 vs Astros
9 vs Pirates
7 vs Reds
3 vs Cards
3 vs Nats
3 vs Marlins
6 vs Mets
3 vs Phillies
3 vs Padres
4 vs Rockies
4 vs Dodgers
4 vs Giants
3 vs DBacks
1 vs White Sox

36/66 vs .500 or better

Cardinals
9 vs Brewers
9 vs Astros
6 vs Pirates
6 vs Reds
3 vs Cubs
3 vs Nats
3 vs Braves
3 vs Marlins
2 vs Mets
1 vs Phillies
7 vs Padres
3 vs Rockies
7 vs Dodgers

37/62 vs .500 or better

Edit
Forgot to add that we are now 1/2 game back with Cards' loss to Phillies. Houston will be too after they win tonight

Houston lost, still 1.5 back, Brewers won 2.5 back

Cards 53-47 (+27)

Cubs 50-45 (+15)

Astros 50-47 (-23)

Brewers 49-48 (-7)

Red are now 7 back and a whopping -70 run differential (they did get whipped that one game), but probably should look to start selling starting with Harang and Arroyo and their relievers.

http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ge-traden...

The Angels did indeed make a run at Halladay, offering Jered Weaver(notes) plus the Blue Jays’ pick of outfield or infield prospects, including Brandon Wood(notes), but it wasn’t enough.

Weaver, Wood and something wasn't enough...dear lord.

With the Cubs’ only All-Star, Ted Lilly(notes), having shoulder trouble that will put him out of action indefinitely – worst-case scenario is that he has a torn biceps – expect the Cubs to be one of the teams making a push for Pirates left-hander Zach Duke(notes), who is very available. The Cubs also could have interest in shortstop Jack Wilson(notes).

Torn Bicep? that sounds like quite a reach...although with this new injury to Lilly and no idea where Harden, Z or Dempster will be come September, another arm would be nice.

Weaver hit arbitration next year. And Wood sort of sucks.

The best thing about trading for Duke is we wouldn't have to face him (3.09 ERA) anymore. He's been a better pitcher in the second half, but a worse one in day games over his career.

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=309406

Miles rehab will take awhile...

Soto started swinging a bat

Lee's neck spasm not considered serious, already said he was feeling better after treatment.

some of this is 3/44...if not all

http://espn.go.com/chicago/columns/blog?name=levine

names mentioned, Grabow, Duke, Gorzelanny, Garland, Pavano, Doug Davis

says there have been talks with Baltimore and Washington as well...I assume for Sherril and Beimel.

via Bruce Miles...
Great story. A few years ago in Pittsuburgh, he(Steve Stone) was going on about what he was going to do "when" he bought the A's. Ron Santo finished his dinner, wiped his mouth and said, "I'll tell you what you're going to be doing next year _ broadcasting baseball!"
And so it was. And so it is.

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/2325

yeah, his big mouth is what pushed him to the extreme of trying to buy a small market club with a group of investors rather than being a GM or assistant GM for someone (which he can't even seem to get interviews for...gee, i wonder why).

his quest to be back as a greater part of the business and lord over others was pretty important.

the guy supposedly wasn't very liked as a player, but like mike marshall he gets the "because he was so much more book-intelligent" scapegoat from some.

meh...

from Rob's Yahoo sports link... With the Cubs’ only All-Star, Ted Lilly(notes), having shoulder trouble that will put him out of action indefinitely – worst-case scenario is that he has a torn biceps...
---
This speculation is implying Lilly's got what troubled Curt Schilling at the end of his stay in Boston. I don't think that's the case as Lilly's tendon wasn't showing structural damage on the MRI. Inflammation of the biceps tendon at the shoulder is a spectrum of damage and the orthopod who was Schilling's doc (Dr. Craig Morgan) said his biceps was severely damaged. The procedure he recommended was a tenodesis of the tendon, meaning they anchor the tendon to the humerus (upper arm) and remove the damaged tendon from it's attachment on the shoulder socket (glenoid). There was controversy about this recommendation as the Redsox team orthopod didn't agree and wanted Schilling to get treated non-surgically with rehab alone. Tough decision in a pitcher over 40.
-----
quote from Dr. Morgan, clearly Schilling's MRI showed damage to the biceps tendon (Lilly's didn't):

“This is a progression of disease that’s been going on silently probably for several years, became symptomatic last year, and has progressed to this point where normally, think of the tendon as sort of an electrical cable, and within the cable there’s a thousand wires. It’s all one solid single tube.”

“When the tendon becomes irreversibly diseased, which my opinion is that it is now, the fibers are bundles within the single tendon, can start to separate longitudinally. It isn’t torn cross-wise, it separates into these bands of spaghetti would be a good term to have a layman understand it. And once you see that, which is how it appears on his recent MRI, then really conservative measures will not resolve the pain."

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extra...

from the Bruce Miles/Herald link...

The Cubs still are in no hurry to activate infielder Aaron Miles, who is in Iowa rehabbing an elbow injury.

"Aaron is playing," Piniella offered. "He was about 2-for-15 at one time. I think Jim (GM Hendry) is waiting for Aaron to start swinging the bat a little better."
---

Is this like waiting for the temp in Hell to drop?

some commentary on the Stone/Kaplan Bradley rumor silliness...

http://wrigleyville23.com/2009/07/stone-kaplan-get...

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  • ...and the Bryant RBI jinx continues in the 3rd....crap.

    billybucks 42 min 57 sec ago view
  • bryant's in the dugout filling a police report BECAUSE HE JUST GOT ROBBED.

    f'n cabrerra...

    crunch 1 hour 20 min ago view
  • chapman showing up and available tomorrow night.

    i'm sure he'll be a bit hit. hope he doesn't choke. dude has a rifle for an arm. he'll add a bit of punch to the bullpen.

    crunch 1 hour 21 min ago view
  • the 'crosstown classic' sure has lost it's magic with interleague. the excitement level is barely noticable...maybe it's a bit more hype in the city, itself.

    crunch 1 hour 25 min ago view
  • Well he didn't leave a mark so its not that bad.

    Fuck that.

    Facts:

    He choked her.

    Her brother tackled him to separate him.

    He cooled off by shooting his gun in the garage.

    I don't have to like him on the team I follow.

    And you are others are free to not give a shit about his personal misgivings if you so choose as well.

     

     

    Rob G. 1 hour 44 min ago view
  • Sure, no marks and some inconsistencies in the witness's statements. But firing your gun into garage wall immediately after an argument and punching out your car window is still threatening and out of control behavior. There was certainly enough for MLB to think it warranted a 30-game suspension.

    Charlie 2 hours 55 min ago view
  • I'd prefer they be flexible with the closing situation depending on matchups. You're not really adding a lefty reliever if you use him strictly as a closer.

    Charlie 2 hours 56 min ago view
  • Stockpiling young talent isn't only for trading for someone like Chapman though. Even with an elite closer winning the World Series is basically a crap shoot so the key is to get to the playoffs as much as possible and not just mortgage everything on one year. Once you get there an elite bullpen certainly helps but the playoffs can be won by one hitter or starting pitcher getting hot (Murphy, Molina, Baumgardner) and a closer might not be able to stop that.

    johann 3 hours 20 min ago view
  • I'm also not crazy about press convictions. As the police report noted, there were no marks on the lady in question. There's a TMZ link (of course) to her police pictures, as well.

    I think the only way this trade goes real bad is if Cubbery intervenes and Chapman is suddenly bad for some reason.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 24 min ago view
  • I am right there with you closing in on 60.

    I don't care that much about "mortgaging" one player who is not only blocked by two guys, but is not ready to hit the majors for at least a couple years.

    There is no reason why this team, this year, can't have a real shot at something NONE of us have experienced.

    Further, I don't feel that even if they fall short that they have ruined their farm system.

    I have made my opinion clear here, with others, Warren was shit on the Cubs save one spot start.

    The E-Man 4 hours 53 min ago view
  • Trading for Warren, Warren sucking, getting Warren back for Chapman plus 3 prospects, sounds like Revenge of The Yankees on the former Boston executive. Old rivalries never die.

    I pray to the heavens above Chapman doesn't suck for some reason, or he'll be booed out of town faster than a Todd Hundley revival meeting.

    Old and Blue 5 hours 1 min ago view
  • I'm kind of nostalgic for the Schwarber-for-Miller rumors.

    Brick 5 hours 13 min ago view
  • This offseason, after some ridiculous playoff run and Chapman saving every game from here until the end of the postseason striking out 27/9innings, I welcome anyone to quote this thread and call me a dummy: I hate this trade, and my hate is 2 parts Chapman makes this team less likeable and 1 part that's a ridiculous overpay for 30 regular season innings and, at tops, 10 postseason innings. Already hoping they don't extend him.

    Charlie 5 hours 14 min ago view
  • btw...Thanks AZ Phil. I'm really enjoying your take on this trade.

    Cubster 5 hours 37 min ago view
  • I'm a bit disappointed on the Warren experience. Essentially they gave Castro away for crickets (OK, well they signed Zobrist with the Castro salary dump). Otherwise one might look at it as Chapman for Castro and our #1 minors prospect (Torres) + McKinney/Crawford. Seems pricey for a 2 month rental. We will see if this price tag is that steep in a relative way based on the remaining deadline deals for relievers.

    Cubster 5 hours 37 min ago view
  • Yep. One of the great things about this team (in addition to being really good at baseball) was the "likable" factor. Feels a bit different now. Who knows...maybe Chapman will be the king of the dance parties.

    billybucks 5 hours 46 min ago view