Good Times with Ted

By all accounts, Ted Lilly will be an ex-Cub by Saturday's trading deadline, in which case tonight's start at Houston will be his last for the team. Signed in December, 2006 after finalizing a deal with Cubs GM Jim Hendry moments before Hendry underwent an angioplasty, Lilly will go down as one of the GM's savvier acquisitions.

Coming into tonight's game, the lefty's four-year record with the Cubs is 47-34, 3.73. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is better than 3:1 and his ERA+ is 122. For what it's worth, Carlos Zambrano, who was ostensibly our ace when Lilly signed, has gone 44-32, 4.04 (113 ERA+) over the same period.

Lilly's 3-8 mark this season is far from indicative of how he has pitched. According to Baseball Prospectus's Support-Neutral pitchers stats, Lilly would have 9 wins this season with league-average offensive and bullpen support.

In honor of Ted's presumed, imminent departure, here is a list of Lilly's best starts as a Cub, ranked by Game Score (shown in parens).

9/15/08 @ Houston: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K (83)
6/13/10 v. White Sox: 8 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K (82)
9/2/09 v. Houston: 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K (79)
6/8/10 @ Milwaukee: 8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 8 K (78)
5/2/09 v. Marlins: 8 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 10 K (78)
4/13/09 v. Rockies: 6.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K (78)

No official word on the fate of the Ted Lilly Fan Club or the disposition of the Ted Lilly Supercomputer. 


Some Mesa spring training stuff.

Cubs "Officially" put Z on the trading block, not that it matters:

via cm

#cubs lineup tues nite is rf colvin, ss castro, 1b lee, 3b ramy, cf byrd, lf sori, 2b riot, c hill, p lilly

also this...for those that care

#Cubs promote OF and Villanova football star Matt Szczur from Boise to Class A Peoria

Stephen Strasburg scratched from start when he can't get loose in the bullpen. Will receive MRI, possibly tonight.

"Strasburg had a bullpen session just minutes before Tuesday's game and pitching coach Steve McCatty and trainer Lee Kuntz noticed that something was wrong with the right-hander. McCatty and Kuntz called (Washington GM Mike) Rizzo, who pulled the plug on Strasburg's start."

Was Marcus Giles jogging in the bullpen?

The Mark Prior Part Deux jokes I want to make just stand as evidence of how bitter I still am over Prior (and Wood).

You need to hang on to it, waaaaaaiittt for it.....

He'll be doooooinngg....



THAT'S when the Prior jokes hit (and hurt)...

I think it was about the third inning of Strasburg's MLB debut when Bob Costas, doing the game on MLB Network, said Strasburg could be the greatest pitcher in the history of baseball. I cringed. It was such a stupid thing to say, and so early in someone's career. He didn't even say Strasburg had Hall of Fame talent, he just jumped straight to the "greatest pitcher in the history of the game" nonsense.

I couldn't help but think of all the hard throwing pitching prospects who had their careers cut short by injuries.

MLB Network is marketing this kid more than f'n WAS's weird. Well, it's not that weird, but it's very aggressive.

I think that's a misquote.

And along with that, he'll get signed by the Yanks in a few years to a contract of


Marcus Giles + Lee Kuntz= a used infield rake and a can of Simoniz?

I hate it when we get a runner caught in a rundown and he steals anyways.

can someone check the pulse of lou?

well that's awesome...go cashner.

2hbp and a grandslam. along with the hits and 2 other runs...all in all a great inning.


Cashner is:

* savior of the team
* a club house cancer

Regardless, he should be allowed to use his third pitch.

Shhh, he's napping.

From Bruce Levine:

At least six teams have interest in Lilly, including the Twins, Tigers, Dodgers and Mets. According to major league sources, the Twins have been the most aggressive team in their pursuit of Lilly, although the Dodgers, who had early interest in the pitcher, may have found a way to pick up the $5.5 million left on his contract.

It sure would be neat if we could pay Lillys salary and get actual good prospects in these deals.

Shitzturis trading not withstanding, Hendry has shown he's much better getting MLB guys than minor leaguers. I have pretty much 0 faith that Hendry would identify a good minor league player to grab, regardless of how much money the Cubs pay.

If they're going to pay for Lilly's contract, they should just lose him via free agency and get the draft pick(s).

Well... Hendry hasn't done many re-building trades. And the DeRosa trade is looking decent.

And they only get draft picks if Lilly were to be offered arbitration and get signed elsewhere rather than accepting arbitration, which isn't necessarily the likely outcome.

I think that is the most likely outcome, particuarly if there are six teams vying for his services right now.

"Which isn't necessarily the likely outcome." what's the phrase for that, a non-sequitir?

Six teams may want Lilly now, but that doesn't mean that they would want Lilly for at least $12M for next year.

I would bet that Lilly would most likely make the most money next year by accepting arbitration with the Cubs.

Submitted by big_lowitzki on Wed, 07/28/2010 - 10:07am.
Six teams may want Lilly now, but that doesn't mean that they would want Lilly for at least $12M for next year.

I would bet that Lilly would most likely make the most money next year by accepting arbitration with the Cubs.


BIG LO: I agree. But the Cubs won't offer arbitration to Lilly if he remains with the Cubs and files for free-agency after the season.

The only times Hendry got a compensation pick for losing a FA was when Juan Pierre and Jason Kendall signed with new teams prior to December 1st, so that the Cubs did not need to offer arbitration in order to get the compensation picks.

On the other hand, Hendry really hasn't traded away many veterans during his tenure; he's mostly been a buyer at the trade deadline. Lilly would clearly be the cream of the crop among guys Hendry's traded away. On the rare occasions when he was the seller, he's done OK considering what he was selling. He got Fontenot for Sosa when nobody thought there was any market for Sammy; Jerome Williams and David Aardsma for Latroy Hawkins; Justin Berg for Matt Lawton; Chris Robinson for Neifi Perez; Rob Bowen and Kyler Burke for Michael Barrett; and Jeff Stevens, Chris Archer and John Gaub for Mark DeRosa, among a lot of no-so-good others.

I think you've just proved my point.

Sosa, Hawkins, Lawton, Perez, Howry, Eyre and Barrett have been turned into a couple solid months of Jerome Williams, Fontenaught and a not very good year of Kevin Gregg.

Well... several of the players are still in the minors, and look like they could end up being moderately productive MLB players.

And most of the veterans the Cubs traded sucked, and had little value at the time. They are hardly comparable to Lilly, or even Lee.

Hendry hasn't made many trades where he was expected to get decent prospects. The vast majority of his trades are trading away Cubs prospects (who usually turn out to be terrible) for major leaguers. In other cases, he is trading crap veteran players for payroll relief (e.g. Jeff Fassero in late 2002) and got low level minor leaguers in return who were not expected to be good.

But in the few trades in which he was expected to pick up prospects, I think he has done better than you realize.

Matt Murton was gained in the Nomar trade, Fontenot in the Sosa trade, Scott Moore and Roberto Novoa for Farsworth, David Aardsma for Hawkins, Justin Berg for Lawton, Kevin Hart for Bynum, Jose Ascanio for Infante and Ohman, Brian Schlitter for Eyre, Jeff Stevens for DeRosa, and Jeff Gray for Aaron Miles

None of those guys are stars, but the fact that Hendry was able to get this many minor league players who eventually developed into major league players says a lot, especially since many were lower level prospects at the time of the trade.

You have 0 faith that Hendry can identify a good minor leaguer to grab but advocate just getting draft picks who will be minor leaguers? Odd.

Can't we trade Tampa Bay something so we can get Brignac?

I can't keep up with all good ones any more. So many prospects, so little time. Who's doing what at Boise these days? Don't ask me.

What the Cubs really need is roster space, and less dead wood. I wouldn't be surprised if Lilly or Lee go, not for prospects, but for inventory reduction. "If you want Lilly, you have to take Fukudome. You can have Lee and Theriot, but take Zambrano or Soriano." Throw in Nady and Fontenot somewhere.

Ship out a truckload.

Recent comments

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  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:

    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.

  • O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already. 

  • I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.

    I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.