The Dodgers announced this evening that they have designated left-hander Ted Lilly for assignment in order to clear a spot for utility player Elian Herrera on the active roster.
Lilly was just activated from the disabled list yesterday after missing the most of the past two months with a chronic neck condition. However, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register that they ultimately didn’t see him as a fit out of the bullpen.
Lilly, who was originally drafted by the Dodgers in 1996, returned to the organization via trade from the Cubs in July of 2010 and was eventually retained on a three-year, $33 million contract. While he had a 3.97 ERA in 33 starts with the Dodgers in 2011, he has been limited to just 13 starts over the past two seasons. The 37-year-old is a near-lock to pass through waivers unclaimed, as no team will want to take on his salary, but he should draw interest once he can sign elsewhere for the major league minimum.
From Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times comes word that the Dodgers have placed outfielder Matt Kemp on the 15-day disabled list (for the third time this season) because of a sprained left ankle.
Kemp suffered the injury Sunday on an awkward slide into home plate. It was his first game since returning from a shoulder strain, and he also missed time earlier this year with a right hamstring injury.
Kemp, 28, has hit .263/.319/.382 with five homers and 69 strikeouts in 251 plate appearances this season and he’s appeared in just 62 of a possible 100 games so far. He is making $21 million this year and is owed another $128 million through 2019.
Ted Lilly was activated in a corresponding roster move and will pitch out of the Dodgers’ bullpen.
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp played in a simulated game against injured starter Ted Lilly today, hitting two home runs. Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times says Kemp, recovering from irritation of the AC joint in his left shoulder, is on track to be activated tomorrow. After returning from the disabled list on June 25, Kemp only lasted a week and a half before needing another stint on the DL.
Kemp has posted a .666 OPS on the season in 246 trips to the plate. He is in the second year of an eight-year, $160 million contract extension.
Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com says the Dodgers and Marlins are engaging in trade talks involving Ricky Nolasco.
While rotation depth was supposed to be a major strength for the Dodgers this year, the team has lost Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett to injury and has gotten little from Ted Lilly so far. The team’s rotation currently includes Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chris Capuano and rookie Stephen Fife.
Nolasco has a 4-7 record for the Marlins, but it comes with a nice 3.68 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. With 77 K’s in 100 1/3 IP, his strikeout rate has also bounced back from last year’s decline.
The 30-year-old Nolasco is a free agent at season’s end, and the Marlins aren’t going to care to ante up and re-sign him. If he doesn’t go to the Dodgers, it’s quite possible he’ll be traded to one of their NL West rivals in the coming weeks. That gives the Dodgers extra incentive to get a deal done now.
The Marlins will likely seek young pitching in return for Nolasco. Right-handers Zach Lee and Ross Stripling and left-hander Chris Reed could be high on their list.
Josh Beckett was placed on the disabled list earlier this month with a right groin strain, but another health concern could delay his return to the Dodgers’ rotation.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Beckett will undergo an MRI tomorrow to find the source of numbness in his fingers. It’s believed that he has been dealing with the symptoms even before his groin injury.
Beckett, 33, has a 5.19 ERA and 41/15 K/BB ratio in 43 1/3 innings over eight starts this season. Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly will continue to hold down spots in the Dodgers’ rotation for now.