Ted Lilly was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday afternoon and tossed six scoreless innings against the division rival Cubs. He should help revitalize a Chicago rotation that has lost a bit of its identity since the demotion of Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen.
Lilly went 12-9 with a career-best 3.10 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP last season for the
Cubs and was even named to the All-Star game mid-summer. He’s getting a late start this year due to back and shoulder issues that killed his ability to get ready during spring training.
In a corresponding move, reliever Jeff Samardzija was optioned to Triple-A Iowa. He has been awful this year on the big league level and the Cubs are hoping some appearances against lesser competition will boost his confidence. The club is also considering grooming him as a starter while he is down in the minor league ranks.
Why yes, it is a slow news day. But let’s not allow that to take away from some MLB history.
Last night a young man named Dovydas Neverauskas pitched in mopup duty for the Pirates, who were getting hammered by the Cubs. Mr. Neverauskas pitched two innings, allowing one run, making him, by default, the most effective pitcher the Pirates sent out there last night.
That’s good, but that’s not what makes it historic. What makes it historic is that Neverauskas is the first person born and raised in Lithuania to make the Majors. Here’s some back story on him from last year’s Futures Game.
Lithuania is known for producing basketball players. Now it has its first major leaguer. Whether he becomes baseball’s Arvydas Sabonis is an open question.
Madison Bumgarner talked to the press yesterday about his dirt bike injury and its fallout.
While there is some speculation that the Giants may change their approach to Bumgarner’s contract situation at some point as a result of all of this, yesterday Bumgarner noted that the organization has been supportive as have his teammates. He said he apologized to them as well for an act he characterized as “definitely not the most responsible decision.”
As for the wreck itself, Bumgarner was a bit embarrassed to say that it wasn’t the result of doing anything cool or spectacular on the bike. Sounds like he probably just laid the thing down. Guess it makes no real difference given that he’s injured either way, but you’d hope to at least get a cool story out of it. Alas.
Here’s video of him talking to the press. The best and most accurate takeaway from it: when he says “it sucks.” Yep.