7/27 Lou on Lilly: "He wants to stay"
Ted Lilly and Lou Piniella shared a cab ride from their downtown Houston hotel Tuesday to Minute Maid Park. The two have been together with the Cubs for the same period of time, both joining the team in 2007. They have a special relationship.
Piniella is retiring at the end of the season but whether he’ll have Lilly around for the final two months may not be known until Saturday’s trading deadline. Lilly did not get a decision in the Cubs’ 6-1 loss to the Astros Tuesday. The question now is when — and for whom — Lilly’s next start will be.
“He wants to stay here but he understands,” Piniella said of Lilly, rumored to be sought after by pitching-needy teams still in the playoff race. “He’s been a huge part of my four years. He’s a good young man. He’s a professional and I’ve got nothing but admiration for him.”
Was this Lilly’s last start for the Cubs?
“Maybe,” the lefty said. “That’s what I’ve been hearing and reading. We’ll see.”
There were at least five scouts at Minute Maid watching the lefty. Saturday at 3 p.m. CT is the trading deadline.
“Sometimes things like that can help you, sometimes they can hurt you, sometimes they’re irrelevant,” Lilly said. “I’d like to think that of those three, they’re irrelevant. You hear about it, you read about it, you hear people talk about it, you guys ask me questions. There’s no doubt I’ve thought about it. Again, that’s one of those things you have to deal with, things in this game that don’t necessarily have anything to do with locating the fastball.”
Piniella has Lilly scheduled to start Monday in the series opener against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field.
“Let’s not talk about [the possibility of Lilly leaving] until we get some word,” Piniella said. “Let’s hope we’ll have him out there at Wrigley for us.”
– Carrie Muskat