2009 Player Previews - Ted Lilly
What’s not to love about Theodore Roosevelt Lilly? For one, he was named after a man that went to war just for the adventure. Secondly, he goes to the mound for 30+ starts and throws close to 200 innings. The last two seasons as a Cub, Lilly has thrown 411 innings and amassed a 32-17 record.
Lilly posed a 3.82 ERA in 2007, and followed that up with a respectful 4.09 ERA last season. Of course things didn’t start off well for Lilly in ’08. In April he posed a 1-4 record to go along with his gaudy 6.46 ERA. I don’t know about you, but I thought old Jim might be headed back to the hospital regretting the contract he made the year before.
But like his namesake, Lilly rebounded and went 8-3 after the All-Star break with a 3.33 ERA, including a 4-1 record in September. Of course Lilly didn’t see the mound or San Juan Hill in October as Lou Pinella went with Sir Walks A Lot, Gimmie Big (Z)ero Defense and Harden(ly) a shoulder in the three-game sweep.
I was critical of the Lilly signing two years ago, but he has slowly grown on me. He’s the perfect 4th starter on this team. He breaks up all the hard-throwing righties, and he keeps the Cubs in ballgames as long as Davey Johnson doesn’t let him play left field this weekend.
As for projections, the PECOTA projections have Lilly finishing with an 11-8 record in 161.7 innings. I’m not sure what it is, but the projections have not liked the Cub pitchers this year. They think he will finish with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.29, which isn’t too bad. I have a feeling that Lilly does slightly better this season with a 14-7 record to go along with a 4.05 ERA.
I really think Lilly will be just fine this year. He just needs to stop giving up so many home runs to team Puerto Rico. The main problem I have with the WBC is that Lilly hasn’t gotten regular work. He’s thrown twice in the tournament, and he needs more work to get ready.
Overall, Lilly is one of the signings for Hendry that has turned it out well for the Cubs. I just hope the WBC cause him to start as slow as he did last season.