Ted Lilly has been trying to work his way back to the Dodgers since May, but numerous setbacks have kept him off the mound. Now his season is officially over. According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Lilly has opted to undergo shoulder surgery.
Lilly went 5-1 with a 3.14 ERA over his first eight starts this season prior to being placed on the disabled list on May 24 with left shoulder inflammation. The veteran southpaw began a minor league rehab assignment in late July, but he just couldn’t shake the discomfort in his shoulder. He was still holding out hope to return as a reliever down the stretch, but plans changed after he was scratched from a simulated game yesterday.
According to Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A., Dodgers trainer Sue Falsone doesn’t expect Lilly’s shoulder will need major repair and is confident he’ll be ready for spring training. Shoulders can be tricky, so that’s certainly no guarantee, but things could have been worse.
Lilly turns 37 in January and is owed $12 million next season in the final year of a three-year, $33 million contract.
Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Reds “have emerged as the frontrunner” to sign free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. Morosi says the Reds and Castellanos “have made progress over the past several days.”
The Reds were going to have a lot of outfielders already when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps. And, of course, the Reds could trade from their outfield surplus if, indeed, they end up with an outfield surplus.
Without question, however, Castellanos would be the big dog, at least offensively, in that setup. He had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power. If he were to sign to play half his season in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.