Daily Dodger in Review: The short, great season of Ted Lilly
TED LILLY, 36, starting pitcher
Final 2012 stats: 5-1, 3.14 earned-run average, 1.13 walks plus hits per innings pitched, gave up 36 hits in 48 2/3 innings.
Contract status: Last season of three-year contract in 2013 at $13.167 million.
The good: He was off to perhaps the best start of his career, going 5-0 with a 1.79 ERA in his first seven starts before injuring his shoulder in his final outing.
He’s not the guy who is going to overpower hitters, but he displayed remarkable control. Was thinking he had a good shot at being an All-Star for the third time in his 12-year career. Opponents hit only .203 against him.
The bad: When he went down on May 23, it was not thought he would need shoulder surgery. But he never responded to conservative treatment, never pitched again and finally had arthroscopic surgery in September.
What’s next: Lilly turns 37 in January, but demonstrated last season the years have not affected his ability to pitch. His ability to stay healthy, however, is another matter.
The take: The Dodgers currently have six starting pitchers and are looking to add another; Lilly is coming off surgery, and Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw off injury.
The Dodgers hope Lilly can return to the rotation, and that’s the tentative plan, but right now they simply cannot afford to count on it. Lilly has thrown almost 2,000 major league innings.
The Dodgers won’t know whether part or all of their six starters will be healthy and ready to go until spring training. If they get completely lucky and all six are in good physical shape – plus they add another starter – then that bullpen is going to get awfully crowded. And Lilly has not made a relief appearance in over 10 years, so he’s hardly a primary relief candidate coming off surgery.
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