Kap's Corner

Ted Lilly Has Shoulder Surgery

The Cubs have announced today that Ted Lilly had shoulder surgery yesterday afternoon and probably will not start the season in the Cubs rotation. Here is the press release that the Cubs issued today:

TED LILLY UNDERGOES LEFT SHOULDER ARTHROSCOPY AND DEBRIDEMENT

CHICAGO - Ted Lilly yesterday afternoon underwent a left shoulder arthroscopy and debridement performed by noted orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles.  During the surgery, Dr. Yocum found no major damage to Lilly's shoulder and the procedure consisted of a washout and clean up of the shoulder.  The procedure took approximately one hour to complete. 

Lilly will immediately begin an aggressive range of motion and strengthening program.  After the first of the year, Lilly will be re-evaluated and the club will establish a timetable for him to begin his throwing program in preparation for the 2010 season.  Typically, recovery time for a procedure such as this would place Lilly's return to the Cubs rotation within the month of April. 

"We are pleased that Ted's surgery was a success and are eager to see him begin his rehabilitation program," said Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry.  "After Ted's re-evaluation following the first of the year, a determination will be made as to when he will begin his throwing program.  At this point in time, it is too early to precisely project Ted's return to the Cubs rotation; most estimates would place that return within the month of April.

"At the conclusion of the 2009 season, Cubs team doctors prescribed a conservative approach to managing Ted's shoulder in preparation for the 2010 season and, following a second opinion, Dr. Yocum agreed," Hendry continued.  "At the end of last week, Ted decided that undergoing a surgical procedure was the course of action he wanted to pursue, a decision the club supported.  We're glad the surgery did not reveal any major damage to Ted's shoulder and look forward to his return to our rotation."

Now I'm sure that what I am thinking is what is going through the minds of many of you. Sure he'll be ready by April! We heard that about Kerry Wood, Mark Prior etc....so why should we believe that Lilly will be ready to rejoin the rotation in April? Perhaps he will and perhaps he won't. In any case, because of this news, it is imperative that the Cubs add another top flight starter to their roster in case Lilly isn't ready in April.

What if Carlos Zambrano continues to struggle? What if Randy Wells isn't as solid as he was in 2009? Rich Harden probably will not be back, so the Cubs have to add a solid starter that they can count on to help them get off to a great start. That means not relying on the proverbial "lighting in a bottle" theory that former GM Ed Lynch lived by during his tenure as baseball operations boss.'

Who is available in free agency? John Lackey is probably too pricey for the Cubs, but he is exactly what they need. A veteran starter who has pitched in the postseason and thrives under pressure. In addition to free agency, the Cubs could acquire a starter in a swap for Milton Bradley. There are several bad contracts on the market including starting pitchers Derek Lowe and Barry Zito. Both could fit into the Cubs rotation if Rich Harden is not resigned.

Here is the latest from the Chicago Breaking Sports News Center as the Cubs try to unload Bradley before they start tinkering with the rest of their club. In addition, here is the latest from Ted Lilly's tele-conference which GM Jim Hendry also participated in. The Daily Herald's Bruce Miles has some of the quotes from Lilly and Hendry.

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12 Comments

Rock Mamola said:

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Kap,

Of course with anything there will be a lot of "what if" questions. I wouldn't worry too much about this because he's taking care of it now rather than letting it linger for later.

Zambrano, Dempster, Lilly, Wells and a guy that could get you 10 wins max as the #5 will still be one of the better rotations in the NL.

-RoCk
Check out the Rock Report at: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/rock-report/

joeydafish said:

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Kap, who wrote: "That means not relying on the proverbial "lighting in a bottle" theory that former GM Ed Lynch lived by during his tenure as baseball operations boss."
I didn't think it was you, is that coming from another source?
Because I think that's also Hendry's approach for the most part.

IrishYeti said:

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Rather than address this post I'm going to address your recent Twitter excursion (which is much more interesting):

Kaplan: I am amused by wpbc and others who compare Lackey to Big Z. Are you insane? What Game 7 of the World Series did Big Z start and win?

So, it's Z's fault alone that the Cubs haven't made it to a World Series? And then it's also his fault that said World Series didn't last 7 games?

Kaplan: I just talked to a retired GM who is now an AL scout. He laughed and said Lackey is a GREAT clubhouse guy and Big Z is a lunatic.

How long has that GM known Z? And has he actually gotten a chance to get to know the guy? Or does he just say he's a lunatic because the media doesn't like his personality? Sorry to disappoint you but this whole CLUBHOUSE GUY crap is overrated. There were plenty of assholes and crappy teammates who have led their teams to chanmpionships

Kaplan: Let's get this straight. I'm not on a Z hating war. I just want to see the Cubs win If he wins 20 great. I just don't believe in him anymore

"I don't hate Z but look at all these ways in which he is a horrible person and is screwing up the Cubs!"

Lackey pitches in the much tougher AL. He is a great clubhouse guy, and he pitches well in big games. What was the last big game Z ever won?

I seem to remember a couple playoff games in which he pitched really well. The fact that he didn't "get the win" is quite irrelevant because he pitched well enough to give his team the chance to win. It's not his fault his offense sucked in 07, and the defense wet the bed in 08.

It's amazing people pay you to talk about sports because you're extremely ignorant about it. Bill James would take Zambrano.. Isn't he respected enough?

David Kaplan said:

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Yep, you keep hanging onto your overpaid "ace" because he sure has earned his money since signing that extension in August of 2007. Your rationale is ridiculous.

David Kaplan said:

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By the way, you say that you remember a couple of playoff games that he pitched really well in. I remember one and that was at Arizona in Game 1 of the 2007 NLDS. What other start did he pitch well in? He was 0-1 in 3 starts in 2003. He pitched well in 2007 and he was not very good (his defense also let him down) in 2008. Have you checked Zambrano's #'s since he signed his contract extension? They are awful.

melissa said:

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Lackey is certainly going to be out of the Cubs' price range. It really demonstrates Kap's bias against Z when he advocates signing Lackey who's career numbers are extremely similar to Z's, a guy Kap would love the Cubs to unload. How does it make any sense to take on the bad contracts of Lowe or Zito when the Cubs could bring Harden back for much, much less? The Cubs should definitely bring Harden back and are making a mistake if they don't offer him arbitration at the very least.

Max Power said:

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Actually, Zambrano is considerably better. Better ERA, better ERA+, better winning pct. while playing on lesser teams, has missed far fewer starts throughout his career, and is almost three years younger, to boot.

Oh wait, he doesn't kiss the media's ass, um I mean he isn't a good clubhouse guy, so obviously on the field performance should be completely ignored when comparing the two. My bad.

David Kaplan said:

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It's funny to here you say how he is considerably better. At what? Melting down under pressure? Better admitting how he was lazy? Just what is he better at? Certainly not pitching well in big games.

Max Power said:

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Do you not see the exact examples I provided? Here they are again: Better ERA, better ERA+, better winning pct. while playing, for the most part, on lesser teams, has missed far fewer starts throughout his career, and is almost three years younger, to boot.
I realize you may not understand all of that, but it is true.
Sure, rumor has it Lackey plays cards in the clubhouse better. But, then again that is just rumor- I can't find any stats to back it up. And what that has to to do with on the field performance, not sure, seeing how Z has outpitched him throughout their careers.

Lackey did pitch five good innings in a huge game seven years ago. No one can deny him that.
And using that rational to make him better than a guy who has better career numbers, pretty much across the board, is it safe to assume you'll be starting the bring Livan Hernandez to town campaign soon?

David Kaplan said:

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So when we talk to multiple scouts outside the Cubs organization and EVERY one of them says they would take Lackey over Zambrano and that it isn't even close how do you respond to that? You keep discounting the clubhouse stuff but when you have teammates that don't respect your work ethic and attitude it affects the team regardless of what you think.

Max Power said:

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I will, somewhat, respect it when names are named. Until then, it's little more than gossip.
And it still doesn't change the fact that one guy has performed better on the field than the other.

AaroneOSOS said:

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Its good to listen about Ted Lilly don't have any serious issue with his shoulder. His fans were fearing that it might be some serious problem for which he had undergone Shoulder Surgery. It is a reliving remarks fro Ted himself that this surgery would give him comfort and there is no major damage. His fans are impatiently waiting for the moment when he would again in court entertaining his fans.

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