Cubs manager Lou Piniella confirmed that Ted Lilly will return from the disabled list this weekend in Milwaukee, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.
Lilly made his final tuneup start on Monday night, tossing 88 pitches over seven innings for Single-A Peoria. Piniella indicated that Lilly could make his season debut on either Saturday or Sunday, though he is currently leaning towards Saturday.
It has been an eventful road back for Lilly, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on left shoulder in November. He battled a fever and needed an MRI on his right knee in February and dealt with some back soreness earlier this month. The 34-year-old southpaw was 12-9 with a 3.10 ERA and 1.06 WHIP over 27 starts with the Cubs last season.
His return means that one current member of the rotation — most likely Carlos Silva or Tom Gorzelanny — will head to the bullpen.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Monday that the Angels have received inquiries from multiple teams concerning starter Hector Santiago. He adds that the club is willing to listen to offers. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reports that the Marlins are among the teams that have inquired.
Santiago, 28, has pitched to a 4.32 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 47 walks in 110 1/3 innings. Sabermetric statistics such as FIP, xFIP, and SIERA think the lefty has pitched even worse than his ERA indicates however, pitting 2016 as his worst performance to date.
Santiago is earning $5 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility going into 2017.
We also learned earlier that, in an effort to bolster their starting rotation, the Marlins have also shown interest in Wade Miley of the Mariners and Jeremy Hellickson of the Phillies.
The Rangers placed DH Prince Fielder on the disabled list last week due to more neck discomfort. On Friday, Fielder met with Dr. Drew Dossett, who performed spinal fusion surgery on Fielder in 2014 for a herniated disk in his neck. Dossett has recommended another procedure, so Fielder will undergo season-ending surgery this week, Jeff Wilson of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram reports.
Fielder was having a rough season, batting .212/.292/.334 with eight home runs and 44 RBI in 370 plate appearances. He played in only 42 games in 2014, but returned in 2015 looking more like his old self. Unfortunately, neck and back issues are notoriously difficult to fix. Hopefully, this upcoming procedure does the trick for Fielder.
Fielder is owed $24 million per season through 2020, with the Tigers paying $6 million of it per season.