Banged up Ted Lilly adds knee injury to offseason shoulder surgery

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Ted Lilly was already taking things easy coming back from November shoulder surgery and now he also has a knee injury to deal with.
Lilly had cartilage removed from his left knee in July, but this time the right knee gave him problems after playing catch from flat ground this week and he’s scheduled to undergo an MRI exam. Even before the knee began flaring up Lilly was being viewed as a longshot to be ready for Opening Day, so any kind of setback at this point would make him all but certain to begin the season on the disabled list.
Lilly has gone 44-26 with a 3.70 ERA during three seasons in Chicago, including 12-9 with a career-best 3.10 ERA in 177 innings last year. Jeff Samardzija, Sean Marshall, and Carlos Silva would be options to fill in for him if needed, with Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, and Tom Gorzelanny manning the other four rotation spots.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.