Results tagged ‘ Ted Lilly ’

8/1 DeWitt ready to go

The Cubs didn’t waste any time getting new second baseman Blake DeWitt in the lineup. He was batting eighth and starting at second on Sunday. Acquired Saturday from the Dodgers for Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot, DeWitt said the trade came as a surprise.

“It was definitely a shock,” DeWitt said Sunday. “I’ve been with the [Dodgers] organization for a while. Like everybody told me, the first time being traded is always the toughest. You grow close to your teammates but I really couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity. It’s a great organization, a great city and great baseball.”

DeWitt did give up some ground in the standings by switching from the Dodgers to the Cubs.

“It’s an organization that’s definitely committed to winning and definitely has a bright future,” DeWitt said. “I can’t wait to get out on the field.”

He’ll get some extra time on Monday. Acting manager Alan Trammell had wanted to give DeWitt a day to get used to his new teammates but instead had the infielder starting at second. Aramis Ramirez’s left thumb flared up again. On Monday, Trammell and DeWitt and the other middle infielders will be on the field to get some extra work in.

Former Cubs outfielder Reed Johnson, now with the Dodgers, did give DeWitt a few pointers about Chicago and the team, including how to handle day games. Growing up in Missouri, DeWitt was a Cardinals fan.

“I haven’t been a Cardinals fan for a long time,” he said. “It’s an easy transition for me.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/31 Z says he's ready to start

Carlos Zambrano is ready to start. Now. Not next season, but now.

Alan Trammell, subbing for Lou Piniella, who was attending the funeral of his uncle in Tampa, Fla., was able to get Zambrano back in action for the first time since he was reinstated from the restricted list on Saturday night.

“I was trying to pick the right spot,” Trammell said. “He got himself in a little bit of trouble but got out of it which was nice to see. Hopefully, that will gie him some confidence and get him back into the team.”

Zambrano entered in the seventh. Carlos Gonzalez had hit a sacrifice fly to give the Rockies a 5-2 lead and there was one on and one out. Zambrano walked Troy Tulowitzki, then gave up a single to Melvin Mora to load the bases. Zambrano struck out Seth Smith and got Brad Hawpe to pop up and end the inning.

“It’s just another game for me,” Zambrano said. “I just want to get hitters out.”

He’d also like to be considered for the Cubs rotation. There’s a vacancy following the trade of Ted Lilly.

“I’m ready,” Zambrano said. “I’m ready to pitch Tuesday, Thursday.”

We’ll wait until Piniella comes back to make that call. As of now, Thomas Diamond is scheduled to start Tuesday in Lilly’s spot and make his Major League debut.

— Carrie Muskat

7/31 Tough to say goodbye

Koyie Hill and Ted Lilly spent the off day together Thursday, fly fishing in Colorado. They sat next to each other in the dugout for most of Friday’s game. And on Saturday, they said goodbye.

Lilly was dealt to the Dodgers along with Ryan Theriot for infielder Blake DeWitt and two Minor League pitchers. The Cubs lost a key player in the clubhouse in Lilly.

“He’ll tell you as much as I will that he’s a little behind some guys but his mind and the way he competes is his best attribute,” Hill said of Lilly. “You don’t have to throw 96 [mph] or hit .330 and hit a bunch of homers to inspire guys.”

The left-hander led the Major Leagues in the least amount of run support but never blamed the offense for not backing him up.

“There’s so many things you can take from his game, mentally, physically and heart-wise,” HIll said. “You can take so much from what he offers as a player, as a teammate, as a friend. I consider him one of my best friends and teammates I’ve played with. It’s a bad day for all of us in here who respected him so much. Life goes on.”

They did chat during Friday’s game about how Lilly may be leaving.

“A little bit,” Hill said. “We spent our off day driving down to North Fork Ranch to go fly fishing. We were buddies. He’s right up there, all time. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so, not down but just a weird feeling when you lose somebody like that. Goodbyes are never easy.”

— Carrie Muskat


7/31 Theriot says goodbye

Ryan Theriot thought he’d be a Cubs player for life.

“You never want to go,” Theriot said Saturday. “In the same breath, it’s exciting. I’m going to a place that has a wonderful tradition and is obviously all about winning.”

Theriot was dealt with Ted Lilly to the Dodgers on Saturday in exchange for Blake DeWitt and two Minor League pitchers. He stopped by Coors Field to pick up his gear and say goodbye to his teammates.

Dodgers manager Joe Torre called Theriot Saturday morning.

“He said, I could be No. 99 if I wanted to,” Theriot said. “He was very excited and just congratulated me and welcomed me. I thought that was very cool, especially coming from a man of his stature. We talked for a few minutes. He said, ‘I want you to get here as soon as you can.’ It makes you feel good when you get a call from a guy like that.”

He was selected in the third round of the 2001 Draft by the Cubs and thought he’d stay in the organization his entire career.

“It was wishful thinking,” Theriot said. “I guess things happen. It’s a business. Everything can change in a heartbeat but everything happens for a reason. This is something I’m excited about.”

He’d started getting word Friday from “credible sources” that a deal was possible. Theriot was batting .284 and was 5-for-14 on this road trip. Did the move from short to second in early May affect him?

“I don’t think it was the move as much as the way the season played out,” he said. “Obviously, we’re not where we want to be. The Cubs are a proud organization and one that’s set up to win. Nobody was happy with what happened. That stuff all rolls downhill and affects people in different ways.”

Theriot helped Starlin Castro adjust to the big leagues.

“That’s what you’re supposed to do,” Theriot said. “This game has been around for a long time and you help your teammates. Anybody would’ve done the same thing.”

Now that he’s leaving, how does he feel about the Cubs’ curse?

“No, I don’t [believe in it],” he said. “I think when the streak is broken, it will be broken many times in a row. Guys come in and play hard and just hope for the best. It has been a long time, though. I don’t believe in curses or anything, but yeah, it has been a long time.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/31 Lilly says goodbye

Ted Lilly said he thought perhaps the trade deadline would pass and he would stay with the Cubs. But he found out Saturday he was headed to the Dodgers along with infielder Ryan Theriot in exchange for Blake DeWitt and two Minor League pitchers.

“I think I’m going to a really good place and to a team that has aspirations of winning the World Series and that’s a fortunate thing for me to be a part of,” Lilly said.

He will be returning to the team that originally drafted him back in 1996.

“You look at it like that and it’s pretty special,” Lilly said.

He talked to the Dodgers equipment manager on Saturday, and the lefty said it’s the same person who handed him his first uniform during Spring Training games.

“It’s pretty amazing how this has come full circle,” he said.

Chicago was special, too.

“I couldn’t ask for a better place to play, teammates to play with, fans to play for,” he said. “All the way from the coaching staff to the front office, I can’t say enough.”

Still, he didn’t want to leave the Cubs.

“It’s not something I’m overly excited about,” Lilly said. “I’m going to miss a lot. But when I go over there and I put a Dodgers uniform on and I meet my new teammates and start competing with them, I’ll really enjoy it.”

This is the last year of Lilly’s contract. He said he’d consider coming back but there apparently have been no talks between the Cubs and the lefty about extending his contract.

“I think I voiced my opinion as to what I’d prefer but there are reasons that go into it,” Lilly said. “I would imagine money is one of them.”

The two sides never exchanged dollar figures.

“Obviously, this organization is commited to win,” he said. “I would imagine they’ll do what’s necessary to put this club in that position again in 2011. One thing I’ve learned is you can’t get too far ahead of yourself and try to predict what’s going to happen down the road. I seem to benefit from just trying to keep my mind focused on one thing at a time and my next start kind of thing.”

The Cubs began play Saturday 11 games back in the NL Central. The Dodgers are seven games behind the Padres in the NL West.

“I don’t think this is how any of us would’ve drawn it up,” Lilly said. “[GM Jim Hendry] didn’t have a lot of choices. We would all prefer to be buyers and to be acquiring pieces but this is what it’s come to.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/31 Diamond will start – UPDATED

With Ted Lilly being dealt to the Dodgers Saturday, the Cubs needed a starter for Monday. They will move Randy Wells to Monday’s game and call up right-hander Thomas Diamond from Triple-A Iowa for Tuesday’s game. Diamond was pulled after throwing 64 pitches in four innings in his last start Thursday for the Iowa Cubs. He was the Rangers first-round Draft pick in 2004 but slowed after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March 2007.

This season at Iowa, Diamond is 5-4 with a 3.16 ERA in 21 starts and has struck out 104 in 108 1/3 innings. Opposing teams were batting .218 off the right-hander.

— Carrie Muskat

7/31 Lilly, Theriot dealt to Dodgers

The Cubs dealt Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot to the Dodgers Saturday in exchange for infielder Blake DeWitt and two Minor League pitching prospects.

The Dodgers also will receive cash in the trade, reportedly around $2.5 million.

Lilly was 3-8 with a 3.69 ERA in 18 starts with the Cubs and in the last year of a four-year contract with the team. He was scheduled to start Monday against Milwaukee but the Cubs may call up right-hander Thomas Diamond, who was pulled after throwing four innings on Thursday for Triple-A Iowa.

Theriot lost his starting shortstop job to rookie Starlin Castro and was moved to second this year. He was batting .284 with 10 doubles, two triples, one home run and 21 RBIs in 96 games.

DeWitt, 24, is a career .262 hitter with 31 doubles, six triples and 12 home runs in 230 games covering the last three seasons with the Dodgers. He’s played second, third and shortstop.

The Cubs also receive right-handed pitchers Kyle Smit and Brett Wallach from the Dodgers.
Smit has reached the Double-A level this season at the age of 22, combining to go 5-3 with six saves and a 2.35 ERA in 37 appearances between Single-A Inland Empire and Double-A Chattanooga.

Wallach, 21, was 6-0 with a 3.72 ERA in 17 starts for Class A Great Lakes, striking out 92 batters in only 84 2/3 innings pitched. He’s the son of former Dodger player and current Dodger Triple-A Manager Tim Wallach.

— Carrie Muskat

7/31 Lilly, Riot & Z update

It’s decision day for the Cubs. The trading deadline is 2 p.m. MT. says there are still four teams — the Dodgers, Twins, Tigers and Yankees — who are pursuing Ted Lilly. However, reported Saturday morning that the Yankees are out.

On Friday, Lilly prepped as he normally would for his next start, which would be Monday at Wrigley Field.

“Teddy wants to stay here but he knows the game of baseball and he knows that something could happen,” Lou Piniella said. “It’s good to see they want to stay here. That speaks well.”

Lilly is trying to focus on pitching.

“We’re near the end of July and I only have three wins,” said the lefty, who is 3-8 with a 3.69 ERA. “I really want more than that.

“It doesn’t settle so well,” he said. “I’ve got 18 starts and I’ve got three wins. It’s bothersome. That’s what I’m here for is to go out and try to win.”

There’s also been some interest in Ryan Theriot, whose phone was loaded with messages from people, including his agent, wondering if he was pulled from Friday’s game because a deal had been made. It was simply a double switch. The Denver Post reported the D-backs have talked to the Cubs about a possible Theriot for Kelly Johnson swap.

Less than 24 hours after he was activated from the restricted list, Carlos Zambrano also is getting some action. Big Z told reporters Friday in Denver that he would consider waiving his no trade clause if the Cubs wanted to move him. According to, the Mets offered Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo for Zambrano but the Cubs said no. Big Z still has a lot of money remaining on his contract ($6.4 million this year; $17.9 million in 2011; $18 million in 2012).

— Carrie Muskat

7/30 Lilly focuses on pitching, not rumors

For Ted Lilly, it’s business as usual. The lefty did his side work on Friday at Coors Field in preparation for Monday’s scheduled start against the Milwaukee Brewers. Lilly will know Saturday afternoon whether he’ll be pitching for the Cubs. The trading deadline is 3 p.m. CT.

“Teddy wants to stay here but he knows the game of baseball and he knows that something could happen,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Friday. “It’s good to see they want to stay here. That speaks well.”

Lilly has been linked to the Dodgers with the Tigers as another possibility, according to reports. But the sticking point apparently is how much of the more than $4 million still owed the left-hander the next team will pick up. Lilly is trying not to think about all of that.

“We’re near the end of July and I only have three wins,” said the lefty, who is 3-8 with a 3.69 ERA. “I really want more than that.

“It doesn’t settle so well,” he said. “I’ve got 18 starts and I’ve got three wins. It’s bothersome. That’s what I’m here for is to go out and try to win.”

One thing that has worked against Lilly is he has gotten the least amount of run support in the Major Leagues.

He hasn’t gotten any updates from Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, just friendly razzing from his teammates.

“I don’t know what goes into that and what they have to consider,” Lilly said. “A lot of that is over my head. There are things that go into making these kinds of decisions. It’s not my job to try to keep up with them and what they’re doing.”

So, he’s focused on pitching.

“I’m focused on doing whatever will help me be a better pitcher,” he said.

— Carrie Muskat

7/30 Lilly & Theriot rumors

Could Ted Lilly go back to the Dodgers? According to Fox Sports, the Dodgers and Cubs have talked about Lilly and Ryan Theriot, but the catch is that the Dodgers want the Cubs to add cash in the deal. Lilly has $4.3 million remaining, Theriot $933,000.

The Cubs and Dodgers have confirmed the talks are ongoing. The catch is the money. The Cubs are trying to trim payroll, and the Dodgers don’t want to add. The trading deadline is Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.

Lilly actually was drafted by the Dodgers in 1996 in the 23rd round but traded in July 31, 1998, to the Montreal Expos in a six-player swap. This season, he’s 3-8 with a 3.69 ERA in 18 starts, and has received the least amount of run support in the Major Leagues. If he went to the Dodgers, the lefty would join a rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda and Vicente Padilla.

The Twins were interested in Lilly but chose to add to the bullpen, acquiring Matt Capps from the Nationals on Thursday. A Mets official told the New York Post it’s “very doubtful” they’ll get Lilly because they do not want to take on the money remaining and give up prospects.

Theriot received a $2.6 million salary for 2010 after losing an arbitration case to the Cubs. He’s under team control through 2012. The Fox report said Theriot could take over at second, sending Blake DeWitt to Triple-A. But DeWitt was batting .272 with one homer, 15 doubles, four triples and a .352 on-base percentage. Theriot is hitting .285 with one homer, 10 doubles, two triples and a .321 on-base percentage. The Padres had looked at Theriot but instead traded for Orioles third baseman Miguel Tejada.

— Carrie Muskat