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.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.