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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  • Reports this morning that Marlins' pitching ace Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident - just horrible news.

    Eric S 1 hour 57 min ago view
  • Check out John Arguello at Cubs Den for great analysis & photos from Cubs AZ Instructs

    link

    Arizona Phil 14 hours 11 min ago view
  • soler + hammel for mike trout is pretty much a sure thing. *nods*

    crunch 19 hours 29 min ago view
  • Not an inspired outing by Rondon. Seemingly got ahead of every hitter but had no swing and miss pitch today, slider had no bite.

    Somebody give Soler some smelling salts - yeesh

    Eric S 19 hours 30 min ago view
  • And...now that runner scores on a single...

    The E-Man 19 hours 41 min ago view
  • So where do you think Soler will be traded to this off season?

    jacos 19 hours 43 min ago view
  • And right on cue he throws to third with no chance to get runner on 2nd so the batter takes 2nd easily. How long has he been playing baseball??

    The E-Man 19 hours 43 min ago view
  • Man you cannot put Soler out there late in games for Playoffs. Yuch...

    The E-Man 19 hours 50 min ago view
  • Such is the life of a fatted calf...

    JoePepitone 20 hours 4 min ago view
  • fowler with a triple in the 4th...he's a HR away from a "natural" cycle

    crunch 20 hours 37 min ago view
  • ...and contreras takes one off the hand and he's in obvious pain. sigh.

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    ...and he's batting in the cubs half of the following inning. sweet.

    crunch 20 hours 41 min ago view
  • his collapse started on august 21st this season...so it's a slight improvement.

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    crunch 20 hours 53 min ago view
  • I'm really going to enjoy watching Hammel watch the playoffs.

    Jackstraw 21 hours 11 min ago view
  • The always combustible Jason Hammel

    jacos 21 hours 32 min ago view
  • Hammel :(

    Charlie 21 hours 33 min ago view
  • That was fun.

    Charlie 1 day 33 min ago view