Results tagged ‘ Ted Lilly ’

7/29 Lilly rumors

A New York Mets official told the New York Post on Thursday it’s “very doubtful” they’ll get Ted Lilly by the trading deadline because they do not want to take on most of the $4.37 million still owed the lefty and give up prospects. The Dodgers and Twins are still believed to be talking to the Cubs about Lilly.

— Carrie Muskat

7/27 Growing pains

Andrew Cashner took the loss Tuesday and also got a quick lesson. The game was scoreless going into the Houston seventh and Cashner was ahead of Humberto Quintero 0-2. But he hit the Astros catcher with a pitch. That allowed the Astros to lift Quintero for pinch-runner Jason Bourgeois, who stole second and moved up on Brett Myers’ sacrifice.

If Cashner gets Quintero out, Myers is probably lifted for a pinch-hitter. Instead, Michael Bourn was intentionally walked and Bourgeois scampered home on a safety squeeze by Angel Sanchez. Cashner had retrieved the ball and tried to flip it to catcher Koyie Hill but it was too late.

“It was a tough inning for Cashner,” Lou Piniella said. “On the squeeze play, you just concede the run and get the out and get the heck out of the inning. Those are things you learn as a young pitcher.”

“It was a good bunt,” Cashner said. “I thought I had a chance. I went and looked at it [on video] and I see I didn’t have much of a chance and should’ve made the play at first.”

Hunter Pence followed with a RBI single to make it 2-0. Carlos Lee walked and Jeff Keppinger was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Lance Berkman, who drove a 2-0 pitch from Cashner to center for his fifth career grand slam. The Cubs bullpen was short-handed because of overwork and it was Cashner’s inning.

“That was a tough at-bat,” Cashner said of Berkman. “The first pitch was kind of close and he made a good swing. I could’ve pitched him a little different right there. I put myself in a jam. It is what it is.”

It’s part of the growing pains for the rookie right-hander, who got a pep talk from Ted Lilly. That’s one more reason why Piniella and the Cubs players would hate to lose the lefty.

“I just hope [Cashner] doesn’t worry about it too much and his focus stays the same,” Lilly said. “The game of baseball is crazy. It can be easy to doubt yourself at times. Hopefully he doesn’t. He’s got great makeup and clearly he has a special arm and a very good sound delivery to go along with it.”

— Carrie Muskat

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

7/27 Rumors

There are at least a half dozen Major League scouts on hand at Minute Maid Park to watch Ted Lilly and the Astros’ Brett Myers. Lilly has drawn interest despite his 3-8 record because that mark is a reflection of the lack of run support. The lefty leads the Major Leagues in least amount of runs (2.43 per start). Through five innings Tuesday, he’s rarely topped 90 mph on the stadium radar gun but his curve has been sharp.

There are rumors that teams also are interested in Derrek Lee, who will be a free agent at season’s end like Lilly. However, the interest is limited. Lee is batting .352 in his last 16 games since July 6 with seven doubles, one homer and eight RBIs but he’s hitting .251 overall.

According to reports, the Cubs are offering Kosuke Fukudome and Carlos Zambrano to teams, but both have significant guaranteed money on their contracts. Fukudome is batting .253 and has been bumped by rookie Tyler Colvin. It’s uncertain how Big Z will do in his comeback from the restricted list.

Neither GM Jim Hendry nor assistant Randy Bush are in Houston, opting to stay in Chicago. The trading deadline is Saturday at 3 p.m. CT.

— Carrie Muskat 

7/27 Lineup vs. Astros & Soto

Geovany Soto is not starting Tuesday so he can give his left foot a day to heal. He fouled a ball off his instep on Monday. Chances of Soto playing Wednesday in series finale are 50-50, Lou Piniella says. The other question is: is this Ted Lilly’s last start for the Cubs? Saturday is the trading deadline. Here’s the lineup:

RF Colvin

SS Castro

1B Lee

3B Ramirez

CF Byrd

LF Soriano

2B Theriot

C Hill

P Lilly

— Carrie Muskat

7/23 Cubs Cookbook now on sale

Want to make Ryan Theriot’s favorite jambalaya? Or Lou Piniella’s chicken salad? The Cubs Cookbook was officially released Friday, and features more than 60 recipes from players past, present and future. Proceeds from the sale benefit Ryan Dempster’s foundation.

Ted Lilly and bullpen catcher Corey Miller came up with the idea for the cookbook in Spring Training. They wanted to do something to help Dempster’s cause, which is to raise awareness of 22q (DiGeorge syndrome), which his daughter, Riley, has.

The books also include a history of food at Wrigley Field plus several recipes from some of Chicago’s top restaurants. Players who didn’t have a favorite recipe to make suggested something from a local establishment. For example, Derrek Lee orders the parmesan crusted filet at Wildfire every time he goes there. Greg Maddux likes the potatoes at Rosebud.

It’s a great gift — and was done for a great cause.

— Carrie Muskat

7/16 Ted's great adventure

Ted Lilly still doesn’t have a hit this season but he does have an RBI.

In the fifth on Friday, Aramis Ramirez singled and one out later, Phillies starter Joe Blanton walked Alfonso Soriano. Both moved up on Starlin Castro’s groundout and Blanton intentionally walked Geovany Soto to face Lilly, who fell behind 0-2 and then drew a walk to force in a run for his first RBI since May 2, 2009.

“That was kind of an out of body experience,” Lilly said of his at-bat. “I don’t know why I swung at the first pitch I swung at and I don’t know why I laid off the ones I did. Fortunately, it worked out.”

“I saw that zero batting average up there,” Lou Piniella said of Lilly, who was 0-for-25 coming into the game. “I was hoping he’d get a digit. A walk was fine.”

“They were all close pitches,” Blanton said. “He just didn’t swing at them. It was pretty frustrating. I still shouldn’t have walked him, but what can I do?”

It was Lilly’s sixth walk of his career, second this season. The RBI was No. 13 in his career. And he’s now 0-for-26 at the plate.

— Carrie Muskat

7/16 Lilly focuses on Cubs, not rumors

Was Friday Ted Lilly’s last game with the Cubs? The lefty has been talked about as teams in the race look for starting pitching. Lilly has talked to GM Jim Hendry and made it clear he wants to stay with the Cubs.

“As far as what [Hendry’s] job entails, it’s over my head,” Lilly said. “I’d definitely say he’s honest in a situation like this. All of us think we want to hear the truth but we really don’t. I know his job is to do what’s best for the organization.”

Some of the other Cubs players have been moved at the trading deadline and know how difficult it is to deal with the uncertainty.

“I went through it in Spring Training but going through it in-season and not knowing what you’re going to do with your family — there are things that people don’t see,” Marlon Byrd said. “For him to go out there and be focused, it’s unbelievable.”

Lilly was able to ignore the rumors Friday. He made some mechanical adjustments after getting roughed up his two previous starts and held the Phillies to three runs over seven innings in a 4-3 win.

“I know for sure there are teams that have come back from as far as we are and have won the division,” Lilly said. “I’d like to be a part of that here. That’s my thought. I’m pretty optimistic about it. I know we have a long ways to go to make something like that happen but we do have talent. I’d certainly like to win a division here.”

Said Byrd: “I believe we have until the 31st. We’re going to make that push.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/16 Lou on Lilly: "He wants to stay here"

Ted Lilly will be a free agent after this season and has been the subject of trade rumors. Lou Piniella said he didn’t think all the talk should bother the left-hander.

“Teddy’s a professional,” Piniella said Friday. “He wants to stay here and we’d like for him to stay here. Obviously, it gives us a much better chance to win games.

“At the same time, you never know what’s going to happen and for a veteran pitcher like Teddy or a veteran player, just go do your job and whatever happens, happens,” Piniella said. “You can’t concern yourself with it.”

Lilly, who started Friday against the Phillies in the Cubs’ second game since the All-Star break, has received 2.41 runs of support per start, the lowest in the Major Leagues. But he’s coming off two losses in which he’s given up 16 runs on 18 hits over 10 1/3 innings.

Does Piniella give general manager Jim Hendry his opinion in trade talks?

“I don’t get too involved in them,” Piniella said. “I haven’t talked ot Jim about any trade talks at all. That’s his department and if he wants my opinion, he’ll ask me.”

That’s not always the way Piniella has handled things.

“I like it quiet anyway so if stuff leaks out, it doesn’t come from me,” he said. “There are always leaks but if I don’t know anything about it, it can’t come from me.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/16 Lineup vs. Phillies

Aramis Ramirez, who has hit safely in 13 of his last 15 games, was moved up to fourth in the Cubs lineup Friday vs. the Phillies.

2B Theriot

RF Colvin

1B Lee

3B Ramirez

CF Byrd

LF Soriano

SS Castro

C Soto

P Lilly

— Carrie Muskat