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. 

Comments

Some Mesa spring training stuff.

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/0...

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

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/07/cubs-ma...

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.

http://bit.ly/cOK2xV

"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....

TOWEL DRILLS!!!

KA-BLAM!!!

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 is...it'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

Infinity/$Eleventy-kajillion

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.

ugg...

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.

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

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.

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  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 1 hour 9 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 1 hour 50 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 1 hour 54 min ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 3 hours 49 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 5 hours 36 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 6 hours 11 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 6 hours 24 min ago view
  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 7 hours 48 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 7 hours 49 min ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 7 hours 55 min ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 7 hours 59 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 8 hours 3 min ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 8 hours 12 min ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 8 hours 13 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 8 hours 19 min ago view
  • QuietMan 8 hours 27 min ago view