Ted Lilly came into his 14th season with a fighting chance to crack the Dodgers rotation after missing most of the 2012 season with left shoulder injury.
Coming over in the 2010 season via a trade with the Chicago Cubs, Lilly was quietly reliable in the Dodgers rotation with a 24-19 record and 3.54 ERA during his first three seasons with the club.
After only appearing in eight games in 2012, the 37 year-old had an uphill battle cracking the rotation this past season as the Dodgers went out and brought in Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu as the team had eight starting pitchers for five spots.
Regular Season Grade: D
Lilly didn’t impress much coming out of Spring Training and started the year out of the bullpen. He made his first start of the season on April 24 and did a decent job, allowing just one run over five innings while striking out seven against the New York Mets but his consistency didn’t last for long.
Lilly pitched in four more games between April and June, going 0-2 with a 5.09 ERA during that span. He then strained a ribcage muscle and had lingering effects of the previous seasons shoulder surgery and hit the disabled list on June 4.
Lilly returned to the club on July 24, but was placed in the bullpen after a flare-up of degenerative arthritis in his neck worsened to the point where he couldn’t handle the physical demands of starting anymore.
Well, that didn’t last long as the Dodgers designated Lilly for assignment a day later as there were just too many questions about his health and he and Dodger management clashed about what he role would be going forward.
Playoff Grade: Incomplete
Lilly was let go by the team at midseason and didn’t get a chance to see any playoff action for the Dodgers. There’s no way of knowing how he could have impacted the club in the postseason, but his health concerns would suggest he wouldn’t have done anything positive.
Overall Grade: D-
Lilly came into the season looking to start, but was ineffective and soon found himself on the D.L. He then wanted to comeback to the team in a relief role, but it wasn’t meant to be as his growing health concerns didn’t give the Dodgers much confidence in him and decided to eat his remaining salary.
It’s unknown how the degenerative arthritis in his neck will affect him going forward as is career as a starter seems like it’s over, but Lilly hasn’t given up hope. Lilly is currently playing in the Venezuelan winter league for the Navegantes del Magallanes as he tries to revive his career in hope of impressing a major league club for next season.
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