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Will Jim Hendry Trade Ted Lilly?

By bullpenbrian - July 17, 2010 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

Ted Lilly has two more scheduled starts before the trade deadline.
Both are against Houston–July 21 & 28.

Lilly made it clear in his meeting with Jim Hendry Thursday
that he prefers to stay with Chicago.

If the Cubs keep winning, chances are he stays, at least
through both starts against the Astros.

But if the Cubs revert back to its first-half form, Lilly’s
most likely gone by the end of next week.

The Met are pushing hard for Lilly, followed by Minnesota
and Tampa Bay. All three teams individually have enough
trade pieces to swing the right deal.

No doubt Hendry feels the rope tightening around his neck.
He’ll be desperate to turn any deal that might improve
the Cubs’ chances in 2011, and Lilly’s his most valuable trade bait.

My gut says Hendry will attempt to sell Lilly on the idea of
trading him for prospects, then re-signing him in the offseason.

It’s a risky move for sure, but Hendry’s in no place to be patient.
With two weeks to save his job, re-signing Lilly this winter
is simply an after thought.


Latest On Lee, Lilly & Nady Trades

By bullpenbrian - July 12, 2010 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

Tough first half of the season.
11 games below .500…9.5 back of the division lead.
This isn’t the ‘Way of Life’ Tom Ricketts is talking about, right?

Besdies Zambrano’s fit-throwing, did any Cubs fans anticipated this…
an offense that doesn’t score, and a soon-to-be fire sale in mid-July?

Whoever thought Carlos Silva would be this good, or Aramis this bad?
And what on earth has happened to Derrek Lee and Randy Wells?

Then there’s Marlon Byrd the All Star…Soriano leading the lineup from the six-hole, and the breakout performance of Tyler Colvin.
Weird, weird and weird.

Things, however, will get interesting again following the break.
I’m not talking about a second half resurgence. That’s simply Not.Gonna.Happen.
Rather, the Cubs will embark on a selling spree that will reshape the roster for years to come.

Latest rumors I’m hearing:

D-Lee to the Angles.
Ted Lilly to New York.
Xavier Nady to Texas.
Theriot, Fontenot and Fukudome are all on the block, too.

Never would have thought it, but the second half of the season might be tougher to watch than the first.
If the trades pan out, however, next July could be a real treat!


Don’t Trade Gorzelanny

By bullpenbrian - July 11, 2010 - 1:09 am 2 comments.

The Cubs should hold onto Tom Gorzelanny.

Two months ago I wouldn’t have said this, but the kid’s earned his keep, despite bouncing between the rotation and bullpen–thanks to Carlos Zambrano.

With Z’s situation completely unstable, why deal a legit No.3 starter whose future promise is on the rise?

Meanwhile, the Cubs’ staff has the second most quality starts in the majors, which they’ve accomplished in large part without Zambrano–Gorzelanny claiming six of those quality starts in his 12 outings.

Keeping Dempster, Wells and Gorzo together (and possibly Lilly) gives Chicago a terrific chance to rebound in 2011.


Trading Ted Lilly

By bullpenbrian - July 10, 2010 - 2:00 am Leave a comment.

Can’t say I’m in love with the Cubs’ idea of trading Ted Lilly then re-signing him this offseason.

The guy’s been the staff ace the past four seasons, and there’s no guarantee he’ll come back to Chicago.

No question Lilly has solid trade value. He could easily bring the Cubs a respectable return–perhaps, a proven middle reliever.

But I’d need more in return to gamble with Lilly’s future as a Cub…and I’m not sold the Cubs can get that from the Mets, who are strongly targeting Lilly, or anyone else.

I’d take the safe route and offer Lilly a new 2-yr deal. He’s earned it…and the Cubs will certainly need him to compete next year.

Chicago has plenty of other trade options–the staff ace shouldn’t be one of them.

Lose Ted Lilly, and you lose a lot!


A Lilly No No

By bullpenbrian - June 14, 2010 - 1:00 am Leave a comment.

Damn, I wanted Lilly to get the no-hitter!

Not just because it was the White Sox, but because I fear Lilly could be dealt come July.

And whether Cubs fans want to recognize it or not, Lilly’s the true ace of this staff. To trade him would be a mistake.

But there’s no way the Cubs deal Lilly without backlash if he no-hits the cross-town rival.

A no-no might have been the only thing to make up for a season of virtually zero support from his mates, too.

Instead, it’s a 1-0 win to go along with his second win of the season…a far cry from where his win total should be.

Maybe if the guy gets a little run support he relaxes to close out the final three batters. But as usual, the lineup left him hanging…and not just with the game on the line, either. No, not even with its best hurler on the mound, throwing a no-hitter, can the Cubs score runs.

Then there’s Juan Pierre, a man who just loves torching the Cubs. First with Florida, then the 2006 season, and now this, breaking up Lilly’s no-hit bid in the ninth…c’mon man!

Chad Tracy’s backhanded snag at third wasn’t exactly the DeWayne Wise catch in the Buehrle Game, but would’ve been the defensive gem remembered if Lilly throws the no-hitter.

Can’t believe Lou leaves Lilly in the game after Pierre’s single. Marmol almost blew it, which would have been so Cubs.


Tough Luck Lilly

By bullpenbrian - May 28, 2010 - 12:30 am Leave a comment.

Hard to believe Ted Lilly is in the midst of a four-game losing streak.

But the Cubs’ Ace hasn’t won a single game this month…and his last victory came April 24 at Milwaukee.

Of course, that doesn’t mean Lilly hasn’t pitched well enough for some wins. He has, in fact, but the Cubs give him virtually zero run supportfailing to score s single run for him Thursday..and have averaged a measly two runs during his last five starts, which, better explains the lefty’s 1-4 record.

Most importantly, though, Lilly’s been a huge stop-gap. Since 2007 he’s 25-12 following a Cubs’ loss…with the Cubs going 34-19 in those 53 outings, including Thursday’s 1-0 win.

Lilly has seemingly made a full recovery from offseason shoulder surgery…which gives the Cubs a fighting chance at the division, but only if they can muster enough run support for its Ace.


Lilly Up, Samardzija Down

By bullpenbrian - April 25, 2010 - 12:15 am Leave a comment.

Look at the numbers Ted Lilly’s put up in his last three starts against Milwaukee…a club that feasts on NL pitching.

3-0 record…24.1 innings pitched…6 earned runs…21 Ks…and just 4 walks. Outstanding!

Again, is there any question who the staff ace is? HELLO…it’s Teddy, people!


Jeff Samardzija has major league stuff…but he won’t throw strikes.

Doesn’t matter if you’re starting or relieving…you can’t pitch behind in the count successfully…Samardzija himself being the latest example.

Of course is doesn’t help the Cubs keep bouncing him between starter and reliever roles…but he’s pro…and pros should know to throw strikes with consistency.

Why does it take a demotion to drive the point home? And why is this message so hard for him to receive?



Cubs’ Ace Has Shoulder Surgery

By bullpenbrian - November 6, 2009 - 1:35 am Leave a comment.

I’ve said numerous times Ted Lilly is the true ace of the Cubs’ rotation.

Of course, I’m always repeating myself because Cubs fans and the media barely recognize Lilly as an ace.

Don’t ask me why, either? I think the whole conversation is plain as day.

Break it down how you like, but there’s not an equal on this staff to Lilly.  His overall numbers, wins and big-game production since signing with the Cubs three years ago is unmatched.

Lilly is the ace, even if by the slightest of margins. Better than Zambrano, better than Dempster, better than whomever.


Bo Knows

By bullpenbrian - September 14, 2009 - 12:41 am Leave a comment.

Cubs patch

Bo Jackson did it right.

Play baseball until you’re out of the hunt, then throw on the football pads.

I bet more baseball players would do it if they could, but that’s one advantage we have as fans, flipping on the football switch is easy.


Cubs’ Ace Ted Lilly

By bullpenbrian - September 3, 2009 - 12:15 am Leave a comment.


Ted Lilly is the Cubs’ Ace.

Has been since signing a 4-year deal with the club in 2006.

In three seasons with Chicago he’s won 43 games, twice reach the 15-win mark, and was the team’s lone All Star rep this season.

Still, it seems the ace label is always applied to Zambrano or Dempster, but never Lilly.


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