Much like Brandon Webb, Ted Lilly is an All-Star pitcher trying to recover from surgery on his throwing shoulder. And much like the Diamondbacks are being patient with Webb, the Chicago Cubs are being equally cautious with Lilly.
Cubs GM Jim Hendry said on Tuesday that there is no set timetable for Lilly’s return, though reports have predicted the lefty will be back in action sometime in late April or early May. (From ESPN Chicago)
“I talked to Mark O’Neil [trainer] last week, and he said he is coming along fine,” Hendry said. “If he starts April 15 that will be fine. I don’t see it being anything unless there is some kind of setback that happens in camp. It was a real minor procedure. In fairness to Ted, we’re not going to rush him either. If he’s 95 percent on Opening Day then we will wait until he is 100 percent.”
Lilly was the Cubs’ best starter last season, going 12-9 with a 3.10 ERA (Randy Wells had a lower ERA at 3.05, but his WHIP of 1.276 did not compare to Lilly’s 1.056) so it makes sense for the Cubs to be cautious. Especially if they’re going to make Lou Piniella’s fantasy come true.
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All-Star voting ends this Thursday night, just before midnight eastern time. The All-Star teams — at least how they’ll appear before the dozen or two substitutions we’ll get before the game — will be unveiled on Sunday at 7pm on ESPN, just before Sunday Night Baseball.
Which means you still have time to alter these standings, which now stand as the final update before things are set in, well, not stone, but at least some Play-Doh which has been left out of the can too long and is kinda hard to mess with.
Javier Baez is a second baseman. He’s played a good bit of shortstop and, if he played for some other teams, he may be an everyday shortstop, but he’s the Cubs’ second baseman.
With Addision Russell out with some shoulder issues, however, Baez got the call at short last night for the Cubs-Nats game in Washington. It was a good call, as he made a couple of spectacular plays in the field.
First up is this highway robbery of Bryce Harper, who thought he had a base hit. It was a good thought, too, as he hit the ball like a dang rocket:
Later, when Adam Lind was up to bat, he fouled one off behind third base. Baez got on his horse and did this:
That inspired Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper to use the old line the great Harry Kalas used about Garry Maddox: “Two-thirds of the Earth is covered by water, the other one-third is covered by Garry Maddox.” It’s a great line, and aptly used to describe Javier Baez’s Monday night.