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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  • I'm kind of nostalgic for the Schwarber-for-Miller rumors.

    Brick 4 min 22 sec 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 6 min 11 sec ago view
  • btw...Thanks AZ Phil. I'm really enjoying your take on this trade.

    Cubster 28 min 30 sec 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 28 min 58 sec 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 37 min 47 sec ago view
  • Here are some possible corresponding minor league moves we might see in the aftermath  of the Chapman trade: 

    SOUTH BEND to MYRTLE BEACH: OF Donnie Dewees and INF Bryant Flete  

    EUGENE to SOUTH BEND: OF Robert Garcia and INF Vimael Machin 

    There is really no reason to replace Billy McKinney at Tennessee because both Chris Coghlan and Jorge Soler are doing their rehab at Tennessee.  

    And there are plenty of pitchers at Iowa. No need to replace Warren at AAA. .  

    Arizona Phil 57 min 57 sec ago view
  • I am 70 years old. The Cubs last played in the World Series in 1945. I was born in 1946. I hate to lose a prospect like Torres, but when the opportunity is there to get that World Series ring, you go for it. This was the idea in stock piling all this young talent. I would like to see Reddick added now and the Cubbies should be done.

    Hagsag 1 hour 28 min ago view
  • I would expect Richard to accept an optional assignment because based on how he's played this season, there is a decent chance that he won't find work elsewhere. Rather stay and potentially get a ring. Same goes for Coghlan since he's struggled mightily this year.

    Edwards should not go down. He's pitched very well and Maddon is very impressed with him. I would expect Grimm to go down for Cahill so he can get back on track (he's pitched better in July, but he's not getting enough appearances).

    chitownmvp01 1 hour 31 min ago view
  • chitownmvp01: Indeed Clayton Richard would seem to be odd man out once Chapman reports, but Richard might accept a minor league assignment if he is promised a return to Chicago on 9/1 when MLB Active List rosters expand (Richard has minor league ioptions left).

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 34 min ago view
  • The only player in the deal that would cause me a second thought is Gleyber Torres.

    McKinney and Crawford are decent prospects but both are redundant/replaceable in the system and Warren was really only a middle-reliever or #6 starter, so to me it's really just Torres for Chapman.

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 55 min ago view
  • There is no Comp pick for players traded mid-season. 2+ months of Chapman is it.

    mbauer 1 hour 57 min ago view
  • to get one of the best you have to give up one/some of your best...but it's a bit painful to watch the system's best prospect walk for any 2-3 month rental, especially one that's not an everyday player.

    crunch 2 hours 10 sec ago view
  • I assume Chapman will replace Richard on the roster, but who goes down when Cahill gets activated? Maybe Grimm?

    And when Soler and Coghlan get healthy, how do they fit them on the roster when they're ready to be activated?

    chitownmvp01 2 hours 3 min ago view
  • We are giving up a lot, but it's not like we're trading Addison Russell for 2+ months of Jason Hammel. When impact players become available, they are going to cost you. The other bids could also have been high.

    Having Chapman as a rental is potentially less disruptive than having him come in with an extension in place. 

    CTSteve 2 hours 5 min ago view
  • Billy McKinney had season-ending knee surgery last August and came to Minor League Camp this year somewhat restricted. (He was used mostly as a DH in Cactus League Minor League Camp games), and I'm not sure he's 100% right now (he's repeating AA, and his XBH numbers are way down, like he's not getting good rotation in his lowev half). That might have been part of the reason why the trade wasn't completed right away.

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 12 min ago view
  • Rashad Crawford was a basketball star in HS (he was known as "Baby Jordan", and baseball was only his second sport) and he has plus-speed and athleticism, so when the Cubs drafted him (Keith Lockhart was the scout)  he was seen as a long-term project.  

    I was at Fitch Park the day that Rashad Crawford became a LH hitter, He waa never a switch-hitter, He went directly from being a RH hitter to a LH hitter, which I had never seen before. 

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 20 min ago view