Ted Lilly

Bruce Levine reports Ted Lilly goes to the DL, righty reliever Justin Berg (acquired in the 2005 Matt Lawton trade from the Yankees) gets called up from Iowa. Lilly's MRI-Arthrogram apparently didn't show "any significant abnormalities" (possibly showing tendonitis but no structural damage) but as we've all seen what the media gets to report and what the radiologist and orthopods see isn't always identical.

Levine also says Lilly has agreed to having his sore left knee undergo arthroscopic surgery (scheduled for Monday) to clean up Lilly's meniscus (link to anatomy pic), speculating that he can be back in 3 weeks if they do that now.

From a report on Levine's ESPN-1000 radio show, Lilly said the shoulder got his attention the day after the game in Philly. The shoulder felt "a little unusual". Yesterday he tried to throw and had sharp pain. He said he was familiar with it as it felt like his symptoms in Toronto. Lilly said he expects himself to come back in 3 weeks...

Based on my experience, how long it takes to recover from a knee arthroscopy varies greatly and 3 weeks is certainly possible but continuing to push the envelope on these injuries is like playing with fire. This implies the medical staff thinks Lilly's shoulder injury is a cascade problem, meaning that his knee soreness lead to altered pitching mechanics that secondarily lead to the shoulder problem. I found evidence that they connected his knee and shoulder woes when his shoulder took the brunt of the blame in 2005. 

From this mlb.com article on the Bluejays archive circa Spring 2006:

Last year, he said he had a tendency to have a "stiff" landing with his right leg, which put unnecessary strain on his throwing shoulder. Perhaps not coincidentally, Lilly sat out last spring with a shoulder injury.

I did some additional background research on Lilly's shoulder problems from 2005. Back then his diagnosis was biceps tendonitis (link to anatomy drawing). He missed most of spring training and started his season by coming off the DL 4/10/05 but had a rough April and worked through the problem until it flared up at the end of July 05. This lead to a 2nd DL stint lasting 5 weeks. 2005 wasn't kind to Lilly producing a 10-11 record but Lilly is a tough guy and naturally he didn't make his injury an excuse in this end of season interview from the Bluejays site.

"To put it very mildly, I'm disappointed in the way I've gone out there and competed," Lilly said Wednesday after his last start of the season. "I guess, coming into this year, I just expected us to be competitive in this league. And [I expected] myself to really make a push to help us do that."

To be fair, injuries played a large part in his inability to meet those goals. Lilly missed all of Spring Training with a case of shoulder tendinitis, and when he came back, he clearly wasn't ready to pitch in the big leagues.

Regarding the 2009 version of Ted Lilly, his shoulder tendonitis/torn knee meniscus might just take 3-5 weeks if they don't push things and add the knee arthroscopic surgery to his recovery list. Getting Lilly back in September is just like trading for an All-Star for the pennant stretch (slamming head in Rob G's door).

A chronology of the Ted Lilly 2005 biceps tendonitis after the fold...

Tags: 

Saturday, 10 AM UPDATE: Bruce Levine's ESPN AM-1000, Talkin' Baseball radio show from this saturday morning has updates
on Soriano's injury saying it's just a jammed finger and not a
dislocation. Also, Lilly's knee symptoms are related to a meniscus problem
and Dempster may just miss one more start.

Also he interviewed Oneri Fleita (Cubs VP of Player Personnel)
who comments on all things in the Cubs minor league system as well as
the recent rule 4 amateur draft, saying 2nd round pick LSU infielder DJ LeMahieu is close to signing.


A dark cloud seems to loom even with a two game winning streak after tonight's 3-1 win vs the Gnats.  So I ask, is dropping like flies worse than dropping flys?

This is not following Lou Piniella's script for the 2nd half of the season:

1) Get Healthy and Stay Healthy

2) Score runs

The "Road to Wrigley" game with the Iowa Cubs vs the Vegas 51's isn't coming until August 9th but it looks like the Iowa Cubs will be staying with their parent club just a bit longer, as two more Cub starters are possibly out for days and maybe more.

 

 

 

In the friday night 6-2 win against the Nationals, Alfonso Soriano dislocated his right little "pinky" finger (his throwing hand) in a base running mishap during the 4th inning. He singled to center on a play where DLee was on second but Lee rounded third and held there based on a strong but high throw to the plate by Nyjer Morgan. The catcher, Josh Bard caught the throw well in front of the plate then caught Soriano half way between first and second in an 8-2-6-4 putout. On the replay you can see that Soriano jammed his hand sliding into the base and he pulled on the finger right away apparently reducing the dislocated knuckle. The Comcast telecast also showed Soriano getting treatment from trainer Mark O'Neal as soon as he got back to the dugout but he stayed in the game and even batted again (he grounded out to 3B in the 6th and walked in the 9th). This type of injury doesn't swell until a few hours later but once the swelling develops the finger stiffens up making it hard to grip things (like a baseball or a bat).

Monday night's game seemed otherworldly from even before the first pitch.

A Wrigley Field home game on a holiday at night? It made scheduling sense, given that the Cubs had to fly all the way east from San Diego following Sunday's game, but it still felt wrong.

Then the lineups were published and owing to a combination of illness, injuries, and an opposing lefthander, we saw Reed Johnson hitting cleanup and an infield of Freel, Theriot, Miles, and Hoffpauir. In other words, the stuff of split squad spring training games.

Tuesday night in St. Louis...

Joel Piniero, coming off three consecutive losses, recorded the Cardinals' first complete-game shutout of the season. He faced only 28 hitters, threw only 28 non-strikes (never reaching a three-ball count), only allowed one man into scoring position, and dispatched the Cubs in 125 minutes, the Cards' fastest game in almost three years.

Rookie Colby Rasmus, who had just two singles in 25 AB against lefthanded pitching this season, bashed a 2-run homer off of Ted Lilly.

And the Cardinals, who lost three straight to the Brewers in their just concluded series and overall had lost 10 of their previous 14 games, won.

Glad we could help.

Out-of-town scoreboard note: Cubs closer Kevin Gregg, who pitched one shutout inning Tuesday night, now has an ERA of 5.71; former Cubs closer Kerry Wood, who pitched just two-thirds of an inning Tuesday night—and a rollicking two-thirds of an inning it was—now has an ERA of 8.31.

The Cubs claimed a rain-shortened victory Wednesday night, winning behind: Ted Lilly, who pitched into the seventh inning and improved to 5-2; Alfonso Soriano, who hit his 53rd career leadoff home run; Geovany Soto, who hit his first homer of the season after 96 plate appearances; and George Herman Theriot, who banged out two home runs and now has five in the month of May. (He had seven career homers in 380 games heading into this month.)

In Houston, Ted Lilly straightened himself out after a ragged beginning—four-pitch leadoff walk to Kaz Matsui, gopher ball to Miguel Tejada; Miggy's first home run in 116 at-bats this season—as the Cubs beat the Astros, 8-5, to sweep the two-game series at Minute Maid Park.

The Cubs have now won six of seven and have climbed to four games above .500 for the second time this year, heading into a weekend series in Milwaukee.

Sorry to be so brief—there's an all-block garage sale happening on our street today and I think I just overheard my 13-year-old agreeing to sell our second car. 

Saturday: Anibal Sanchez (1-2, 4.13) v. Ted Lilly (2-2, 3.80). Sanchez is making his first career start at Wrigley Field. Lilly was telling Carrie Muskat about his plans to revive the Cubs attack by generating his own offense, by "going deep" and "maybe swipe a couple bags." Sounds like someone is experiencing delusions of grandeur. TLFC—this is your fault!

Sunday: RIcky Nolasco (1-2, 6.92) v. Carlos Zambrano (2-1, 4.64). Juan Pierre Ricky Nolasco, who has seemed primed to be the Florida ace, won the Marlins' season opener and has gone winless in the four starts since. As for Zambrano, nice of the Cubs to give their ace pinch-hitter an opportunity to try his hand at pitching. Who knows—maybe the guy will have a future on the mound. 

Righthander Johnny Cueto dominated Cub hitters Wednesday night, and a strong outing by Ted Lilly (7 IP, 5 H, 0 BB, just 1 unearned run allowed) was wasted as Cincinnati ended the Cubs' three-game winning streak.

Why the Cubs lost: No O—the offense produced no runs and four hits against Cueto in his seven innings. Overall, the Cub bats delivered six measly singles, two each by Soriano and Lee, and one apiece from Fukudome and Ramirez. In both the first inning and the fourth, they managed to put two runners aboard, but failed to capitalize. In total, Cub hitters only had four opportunities to hit with men in scoring position.

Notes following a successful home opener and heading into a well-deserved off day for the 5-2 Cubs:

-- It was just last September 15th, the day after Carlos Zambrano no-hit the Astros at Miller Park, when Ted Lilly held Houston hitless until the seventh inning before Mark Loretta stroked a clean, line-drive single tp recprd the Astros' only hit of the night.

That evening, Lilly, Jeff Samardzija (remember him?), Carlos Marmol, and Bobby Howry combined for the one-hit victory.

In this afternoon's home opener against the Rockies, Lilly was followed to the mound by Angel Guzman (1/3 IP), Aaron Heilman (1 IP), and Kevin Gregg (1 IP). It's the fourth time in Cub history that at least four pitchers have pooled their efforts to throw a one-hitter.

-- This afternoon's patchwork lineup, necessitated by Milton Bradley's sore groin, Aramis Ramirez's achy back, and Geovany Soto's bum shoulder, accepted nine walks by Colorado pitchers. That's 19 BBs in the last two games and five runs scored on bases-loaded walks.

Of course, scoring on a bases-loaded walk is no way to strike terror into the hearts of the rest of the National League, but on a day as cold and hitter-unfriendly as today was, it's not a bad way to go.

W - Ted Lilly (1-0)
L - Brian Moehler (0-1)

Box Score

In the spirit of Passover, we begin tonight's recap by asking, why is this night different from all other nights?

The answer:

Tonight the Cubs sent nine men to the plate in each of the first two innings, building a lead so large, it allowed Ted Lilly to throw his own personal game of Home Run Derby and still win his first game of the season.

Details after the jump.

Mark DeRosa drove in four runs with two long home runs and a sacrifice fly and scored another run after reaching base on a double, as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Cubs 7-5 before 13,097 fans at sunny and breezy Dwight Patterson Field at Ho Ho Kam Park in Mesa this afternoon.

box score

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP *Ted Lilly SP Ben Sheets
16-9, 4.17, 180 K, 63 BB, 198.2 IP
13-8, 2.98, 157 K, 45 BB, 196 IP
       
RF *Kosuke Fukudome CF Mike Cameron
SS Ronny Cedeno 3B Bill Hall
1B *Micah Hoffpauir LF Ryan Braun
LF *Daryle Ward 1B *Prince Fielder
CF Reed Johnson SS J.J. Hardy
2B *Mike Fontenot RF Corey Hart
3B Casey McGehee 3B Rickie Weeks
C Henry Blanco C Jason Kendall
P *Ted Lilly P Ben Sheets

 

A Brewers win and a Mets loss (Mets currently up 1-0 in the 3rd) and the Brewers would clinch and the Cubs would know their opponent for the NLDS. To honor the occasion, Lou has trotted out the "B" squad. The game should be on Fox for most of the country I believe.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Joel Pineiro SP *Ted Lilly
6-6, 5.24, 71 K, 31 BB, 135.2 IP
15-9, 4.13, 175 K, 61 BB, 191.1 IP
       
SS #Cesar Izturis LF Alfonso Soriano
CF Ryan Ludwick SS Ryan Theriot
1B Albert Pujols 1B Derrek Lee
2B #Felipe Lopez 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B Troy Glaus CF *Jim Edmonds
RF *Adam Kennedy C Geovany Soto
LF Brian Barton 2B Mark DeRosa
P Joel Pineiro RF *Kosuke Fukudome
C Jason Larue P *Ted Lilly

 

It be clinching day...we hope. Lou gets nostalgic with the lineup by letting Fukudome start again and Ted Lilly tries to tie Dempster for the team lead in wins. He'll also need to watch his head in case LaRussa  tries to retaliate for Lilly's takedown of Yadier Molina last week.

Clinch! Clinch! Clinch!

5 innings...goose egg in the you-know-what column for Lilly.

Words fail me...

At least I'll be around to watch this one.


ANSWER: No it isn't. Lilly makes it through six with a no-hitter, but then a kind error call on Ramirez before a soft single to right field by Mark Loretta. Cubs prevail though and knock their magic number down to six. If they sweep the Brewers AND the Astros lose at least one game to the Marlins they will clinch the division.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP *Ted Lilly SP Brian Moehler
14-9, 4.29, 166 K, 60 BB, 184.2 IP
11-6, 4.16, 76 K, 33 BB, 138.1 IP
       
LF Alfonso Soriano CF Reggie Abercrombie
2B *Mike Fontenot 2B Mark Loretta
1B Derrek Lee SS Miguel Tejada
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B #Lance Berkman
RF *Micah Hoffpauir RF Hunter Pence
C Geovany Soto 3B Jose Castillo
CF *Jim Edmonds LF *Darin Erstad
SS Ronny Cedeno C Humberto Quintero
P *Ted Lilly P Brian Moehler

 

This sure is a tough turn-around. It's like partying all night, hooking up with a few perfect 10 models and then having to drag your ass back to your job the next morning. Only your job is located in a city that smells either like fermenting yeast or a tannery depending on which way the wind blows (true story, that is how Milwaukee smells).

Cubs go for the sweep (I guess) with Ted "Knockout" Lilly on the mound. The only way to top last night's game is either a perfect game or a four homer game by one of our hitters. I expect nothing less.

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