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November 2009

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Say it ain't so!

Written by , Posted in General

Today Ted Lilly underwent debridement surgery on his pitching shoulder. It appears as though he will not be ready in time for Opening Day and I’m wondering what (if anything) we will get out of Lilly next year. Shoulder injuries are a different breed of cat compared to elbow issues – some guys never really come back afterwards (e.g. Mark Prior) and others come back missing 5 mph on their fastball (e.g. Bobby Brownlie.) If all goes well Lilly will come back 100% in May but what if he doesn’t?

This adds a new dynamic insofar as the negotiations with Rich Harden are concerned. Offering him arbitration is a no-brainer but will he accept? If not should the Cubs give him a multi-year offer?

If the Cubs part ways with Harden it means that both Marshall and Gorzellany will be pencilled in as starters, this means that Jeff Samardzija would almost certainly be the clubs sixth starter, a role that I don’t feel he would excel at. So my question is this – should the Cubs play the hand they hold or enter the trade or free agent market looking for a pitcher?

  • Doc Raker

    Why didn’t they do the surgery sooner? How long has this injury been known? Lilly is our best pitcher. We need him back but shoulder surgeries are unpredictable.

  • MJ

    One. It was minor. Two. The Cubs don’t need a fifth starter for the first few weeks.

    From Bruce Miles:

    Both Lilly and the Cubs said the surgery, performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles, was a “cleanup,” or debridement, and that Lilly has no significant structural damage.

    Although Lilly won’t be ready for Opening Day, the Cubs expressed confidence Wednesday he could pitch sometime in April. Lilly will begin a rehab process with range-of-motion exercises, but he said he won’t begin throwing for four months, or until early March.

    “I initially wanted to try to avoid it, go into the off-season without having to do anything,” Lilly said Wednesday by teleconference. “I figured it would get better. It did not, even after all the rest. I just didn’t want to go into the season kind of doing what I was doing at the end of the year where I was missing starts.”

    From BCB:

    The Cubs’ April 2010 schedule — with off days each of the first two weeks, the Cubs won’t need a fifth starter until April 19, the 13th game of the season — so Ted could have a couple of extra weeks to get ready and perhaps start that day, or later that week.

  • Seymour Butts

    Finally something to talk about. Shoulders are unpredictable, but it sounds like no repair was necessary, just some debridement (scraping the barnacles off of the hull).

    15 days until free agents become available to other teams, not sure if any are on Jim’s radar, Figgins?

    Due to the dearth of comments I fear this weeks Lizard will be a Newt.

  • MJ

    Well, there was the rumor they were looking to trade for Iwamura and Burrell for Bradley, but that was wrong (Iwamura went to the Bucs yesterday). They’re working on a contract with Grabow (thank the heavens, no more Cotts). The Rangers are looking at Bradley. Other than that, everything I’ve heard is wild speculation.

    Not much of note going on right now. The Oraganizational meeting is taking place this week, that’s about it.

  • Kris

    scraping the barnacles off of the hull

    Okay–that cracked me up!

    Everything I’ve heard about Lilly is that they found nothing major. It’s not at all unusual for some clean-up to be necessary to a previous injury. If it really is just tendonitis, rest, stretching, and strengthening are the best things he can do. Which is what it sounds like the plan is.

  • Mastrick

    I never believe that shoulder debridement is minor. Let’s hope for the best but this is at best an operation with varying results, it’s not like a TJ.

  • Doc Raker

    The Cubs don’t need a fifth starter for the first few weeks.

    Didn’t we hear that a few times in the Prior era? Deja Vu. No thank you. I do believe Lilly is no Prior, thank Christ.