3/22 Ted Lilly update

Ted Lilly threw 35 pitches in a three-inning simulated game Monday on a backfield at HoHoKam Park, and said he hopes the next phase of his rehab is to pitch in a Cactus League game. The left-hander, coming back from arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder, threw some breaking pitches for the first time to hitters.

“I felt good,” Lilly said. “I was able to throw some curveballs, sliders and a few changeups. For the most part, most of the pitches I threw were fastballs.”

The next step?

“What I’d like to do is pitch in a game,” Lilly said. “Get some fans out there and umpires.”

There has been no date set for his return to the Cubs rotation but the lefty could be back by mid to late April.

“I worked my tail off this winter,” he said. “I tried to get here and prepare myself so I could come back as soon as possible. The thing that slowed me down the most this spring was getting sick and missing about a week. The shoulder has felt great.”

“I feel good and I want to keep going, I want to keep pushing the envelope,” he said. “Certainly, I’m going to listen to my body and if there’s something going on that tells me it’d be smarter for me to slow down, I’ll do that. At this point, I haven’t gotten any of those signals with my shoulder.”

He did give up a couple hits in his simulated game.

“[Micah] Hoffpauir hit one off a house,” Lilly said. “[Robinson] Chirinos hit one off the 202 [Highway].”

– Carrie Muskat

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