Roosevelt Rides Again!

CSN's Patrick Mooney broke the news that Theodore Roosevelt Lilly III is back with the Cubs. No, the 38 year old crafty one, who retired last November isn't being brought back from the netherworld to be another soft tossing lefty to flip at the trade deadline. He's there in a new capacity, per Rotoworld:

Ted Lilly has been hired as a special assistant for the Cubs front office. He will work with young players in Cubs camp during spring training and then help the organization with scouting for the draft.

Then there is this quote from TL upon making the decision to take the Cubs gig:

Ted Lilly: "I want to be around the game and I feel like I have something to offer. This is the organization I would prefer to be with.”

A little more from Gulliver and the Voyage to Lilliput after the jump...

Carrie Muskat at cubs.com says that Lilly, Theo and Jed started discussions about a role with the Cubs during the recent January Cubs Convention.

"His reputation with the Cubs is sterling, which is fantastic, and not only as a person but as a competitor," Hoyer said. "I really liked what he had to say. A lot of guys want to get back in and don't want to work that much, and he made it clear he wants to work and wants to get involved in scouting. I think we'll use him in a variety of ways. He feels he has a pretty good eye and likes to try to evaluate but also was really humble and knows he has to learn how to do it. He was excited to get back involved and I think we'll feel out how to use him."

The terms of this contract have to be less stressful than when Lilly signed on for 4/40 in December 2006. GM Jim Hendry was on the stretcher to get an angioplasty when that deal was closed.

My thought is he's being brought back to teach those who will listen on how to slide into catchers given the new rules that are being invoked. Yadier Molina still aches from this lesson. Of course there are many reasons to love Ted Lilly. The TLFC, the TL Supercomputer, TCR has a long track record of showing some Ted Lilly love. Given that link showing some of Lilly's best Cub outings, maybe Travis Wood will learn a trick or two from the master crafty-sman.


Samardzija had better watch out if he gets too pranky, cause TL is THE master prankster.

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Comments

boni got the start at SS today.

they're giving him every chance to be the 2nd/SS "supersub" along with his CF/LF capability. he came up as a middle IF'r and has always gotten shots there with various teams, but he's never been able to stick there because of his D.

here's a sneak peak of the mild annoyance that is the replay system...

given what i saw earlier with the "test run" of the replay system during AFL this is one of the longer ones...i've seen shorter.

http://mlb.mlb.com/shared/video/embed/embed.html?c...

Almora rbi single (shortly after Vitters gets picked off 1st), then a 2 run blast by Olt. 6-3 Cubs over A's in the 8th.

Cubs fans, this is your future!

Since you are talking about boners, I was at the game today, sitting in the front row maybe 30 feet from 3b. Bryant looks STIFF out there on D. I don't see his glove working at 3b long term.

If anyone is interested in two of these seats(face value) for the 3/11 game, let me know. I have 6 but only need 4. They are in the front row right next to the cubs dugout. It's actually a row in front of the dugout. Look to your right and you have a nice view right into the dugout. It's hot as fuck(for a person who has spent this winter in Chicago) until about the 3rd inning.

it's early spring arizona sun...get a wide brim hat that has ventilation to breathe and you'll be all good.

i haven't been to AZ in a year and 1/2...one of my favorite places to visit and hike (even more than hawaii).

i wish they still had full-time spring training games in tucson (one of my favorite places on this planet). i had some fun times at TEP and Hi Corbett Field watching games. i understand why teams left (and why many vets would skip the phoenix-area to tucson bus trip), but i'd rather be in tucson for anything but the games.

I remember when the Padres were in Yuma back in 70s-80s.

Google map it.

"It’s not so much that Baez's approach is overly aggressive. I think that comes off as a pejorative statement at times, and being aggressive isn’t always a bad thing. You want to see hitters take advantage of opportunities and drive the baseball with authority. I think Baez’s biggest problem at the plate is that his confidence with the bat/swing creates an environment where everything thrown in his general direction is considered an opportunity for him to drive the ball out of the park. It’s often hard to distinguish between being aggressive and being overly confident, but in Baez’s case, he’s not a grip-it-and-rip-it hitter; rather, he’s a guy who thinks he can turn around whatever a pitcher has to offer and send it out of the park."

I think this is a distinction without a difference. And if this is true, I mean I'm kind of tired of free swingers... meh.

There is a difference, at least in my mind. To this point Baez's view is that nobody can beat him consistently. To this point his stats suggest he's been proven correct. Moving forward he's surely going to come across guys who can beat him more often than not. What he does in response to that seems to be the key as to whether he's a AAA flameout or a perennial MLB All-star, and why the consensus is he has more space between his ceiling and floor than other high-end prospects. I read into the BP guy's definition of grip it and rip it that he thinks that condition is un-alterable.

some guys can get away with it...we'll find out if he can when he's exposed at higher levels.

we may have to live with his high-K tradeoff, though.

unlike some load-and-release hitters, he at least has the "unteachable skill" of extremely quick hands/wrists through the batting zone...just like soriano was so quick for many years with his hands/wrists he could stand in the front of the box hoping to feast on breaking stuff that was breaking late as well as being able to respond to fastballs. age caught up with soriano...but so did the learning curve of adapting and he's tweaked his approach a little bit.

i'm not trying to say soriano and baez hit the same, but they're both aggressive swingers with extremely quick hands/wrists (at least soriano in his youth, anyway). no one's ever called soriano's swing nice/pretty/etc...baez at least has better praise in that department.

And if you only had one guy like that in your lineup, you can get away with it. For several years now we've had a lineup chock full of free swingers and the results are dozens of 5-10 pitch innings from opposing pitchers. If you don't have the other 90% of your lineup working the count, you will never realize the benefit of a free swinger.

cross your fingers and hope d.vogelbach can play LF in the future with the drop in weight.

soler and almora seem to be guys heavily prone to swing even if they don't K much.

bryant might be patient...hard to tell at this point.

a.alcantara showed great improvement with his walk rate last year even though he still K'd a lot. that's at least a bit promising (especially for a 21 year old playing in AA).

Word is Bryant is too picky ala Frank Thomas

I'm not sure the quote is particularly clear, but I would draw a distinction between the Javier Baez aggressive approach and the Starlin Castro aggressive approach. Castro gets into trouble when he swings at a pitch out of the zone just because he knows he can dump it into RF just beyond the 2B. Baez gets into trouble because he thinks he can drive anything. I'd call Baez's approach aggressive and in need of refinement. I'd taking Baez's aggressiveness of the type we see in Castro at times. But, obviously, they'd both be better off if they were a bit more selective and put themselves in situations to take aggressive swings on good hitters pitches/counts.

It'll be interesting to see how badly and how long Baez struggles against polished pitchers who can locate their breaking balls, which he hasn't faced yet. That part of his game might not become apparent until he spends a while in the majors, and that'll be when we see how his "aggressiveness" plays or gets adjusted.

That BP description made me curious as to what was said about Vlad Guerrero as a prospect. Came across this early scouting report:

http://scouts.baseballhall.org/report?reportid=037...

My favorite thing about that scouting report is that the form has "cute" as one of the options for categorizing a type of pitcher.

Wow, that is quite the resource SW75!

http://scouts.baseballhall.org/report?reportid=001...

this scout recommended purchasing the following player for "about" $10K

and a bonus link of Cub infielders...

http://scouts.baseballhall.org/report?reportid=061...

Jerome Walton, future ROY. Report from 1987.

http://scouts.baseballhall.org/report?reportid=074...

this is fun stuff...

Lean, live body. Curt Flood/Bobby Tolan look. Has added 10 lbs of muscle since last year. Lightning quick bat. Roberto Alomar hitting style. HR pop when he gets his pitch. Exciting speed. Big base stealing ability. Excellent base runner. Plus range. CF instincts. Skills to hit in either the 1,2 or 3 hole. 5 tool ability.

http://scouts.baseballhall.org/report?reportid=001...

the kerry wood scouting reports were interesting...

fastball/curve/change showing in HS...no slider (slurve) yet.

heh...he turned that "hole away" weakness into "whatever, i'll swing at that, too...just make better contact off the bat"

he was the best bad-ball hitter i've ever seen. even when you pitched him correctly he would swing at something stupid to swing at and do something with it.

in honor of Ted Lilly...

"Mr. Molina, you're a great ballplayer and I just like to say, you're standing on the tracks and the train's coming through butthead. "

http://m.mlb.com/video/v3452671/molina-withstands-lillys-attempt-to-score

Oh, awesome... I don't remember that.

Those are some enthusiastic 'dingers'!!

That moment you realize that no Chicago Cub is older than you...

Will soon enough be followed by the moment you realize no Chicago Cub is older than your children. Tempus fugit, dude...

Yikes, no players born in the 1970s!

"Darwin Barney will start at shortstop in Thursday's Cactus League game."

Baez BOMB, oppo in 3rd at bat. Solo HR.

Kotaras pulls one, back-to-back HR's. 3-3

b.brenly calling the KC/ARZ game...spots henry blanco in the dugout...calls him "hank white"

...now he's calling KC pitcher francisley bueno "frank good"

i miss brenly.

Agreed. I think JD might be a bust, but gotta give him a couple more years I guess. I remember being skeptical of Brenly early on too. But JD and Kasper were two ships passing in the night as far as chemistry last year ... I hope they learn each other's sense of humor because so far it's just been awkward.

JD was rather awesome with the astros...but he knew the team rather well and that helped a lot in his banter.

it really seems like he came on board with the cubs without doing a lot of homework. i hope it gets better as he spends more time around the team (and i hope he's getting exposure to the kids in spring training). bob not only came on board having done his homework, he dove head-first into getting to know what's going on in the minors (beyond what his kid was doing) as well as the major league team.

i totally agree on the point about jd and len not matching wits well even though they were both trying to joke around...it was painfully awkward too many times for far too long. len/bob were great at setting each other up for jokes and playing off each other's commentary.

len/bob had great chemistry and bob was a strong color guy for the cubs.

Recent comments

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  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 3 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 6 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 16 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 2 hours 59 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 7 hours 44 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 7 hours 45 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 17 hours 26 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 20 hours 24 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 20 hours 36 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 20 hours 45 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 20 hours 51 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 21 hours 9 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 21 hours 45 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 22 hours 3 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 22 hours 4 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 22 hours 22 min ago view