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Ted Lilly refuses Minor League assignment

Apr 14, 2013, 9:05 PM EDT

Ted Lilly AP

Ted Lilly, recovering from surgery on his left shoulder, has refused a Minor League assignment from the Dodgers. Lilly was thought to be the replacement in the rotation for the injured Zack Greinke, but the Dodgers opted to use Chris Capuano instead, feeling that Lilly wasn’t yet ready.’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers have four options: activate Lilly, designate him for assignment, release him, or trade him.

Manager Don Mattingly spoke on the matter:

“We laid out a plan and Teddy doesn’t want to be part of the plan. It’s out of my hands. We didn’t feel he was ready to pitch at the Major League level. For me, it’s a baseball decision. It’s nothing personal in any way, shape or form. We’re giving him our baseball thoughts, what we think is best for him and the team.”

Lilly, now 37 years old, posted a 3.14 ERA in eight starts last year before landing on the disabled list. He is owed $12 million in the last year of his contract.

  1. macjacmccoy - Apr 14, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Its his right. If your a VP and your boss says you know we dont think your capable of doing this job anymore, and because of that we’ve decided to demote you to data entry for the time being. You can decide that’s not the direction you want your career to go and decline the demotion. You just have to be prepared for the consequences. Im not going to judge the guy for doing what a lot of us would do in his situation.

    • manchestermiracle - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:25 AM

      In the real world if your superior thinks you aren’t “capable of doing this job anymore” they fire you. The Dodgers aren’t saying he isn’t able to pitch at the big league level, they’re saying he isn’t ready and needs more work.

      Apparently Lilly isn’t interested in being a part of the team and seems to be forcing the Dodgers to release him. Too bad they can’t also not pay him.

  2. proudlycanadian - Apr 14, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    We Jays fans know how pig headed and sensitive Lilly can be.

  3. Chris K - Apr 14, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Except I think Lilly is more forcing his boss to fire him and pay him for the year rather than just quitting.

  4. melkipershero - Apr 14, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Guaranteed money is why Lilly can do this and we mortals cant

  5. vanindeed - Apr 14, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    send Gibbons over there

    • Gamera the Brave - Apr 14, 2013 at 10:38 PM

      Why Gibbons? Sure, they’re fun to watch on National Geographic, but I don’t think they are the best solution to Lilly’s issues with the Dodgers.

      They ARE funny, though…

  6. humanexcrement - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    I really don’t see this as the selfish move so many other people apparently do. It’s his career, and he’s an unspectacular, good but far from great guy coming off an injury at 37. And the Dodgers have Capuano now and Greinke coming back in a few weeks. They have no room for him, but there are sure to be several teams willing to take on his services. He’ll have to pitch some rehab games at AAA, for sure, but after seeing Washington dump john Lannan at AAA last year, I’d probably do the same thing. He’s way too much of an established pitcher to be organizational depth.

    • blabidibla - Apr 15, 2013 at 9:59 AM

      “He’ll have to pitch some rehab games at AAA, for sure”

      Isn’t that what the Dodgers asked him to do and he refused?

      • forsch31 - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        More or less. When the Dodgers were considering Lilly and Capuano to replace Greinke, Lilly had pitched two minor league games as part of his rehab assignment and was eligible to come off the DL. In that assignment, he gave up 10 runs and 17 hits in 12 innings.

        No, he’s not ready for the majors. Not under any circumstance. What the Dodgers did was ask him to extend his minor league assignment. Lilly has refused, as is his right. However, having it as his right doesn’t make it smart.

      • blabidibla - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:22 PM

        Perhaps he wants to get out of LA before all out war with SD begins.

      • humanexcrement - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:33 AM

        Yes, but there might not be a spot for him after he’s ready to go. He’d probably be much more willing to pitch for a week or two at AAA if a team guaranteed him a rotation spot afterwards.

      • forsch31 - Apr 16, 2013 at 12:29 PM

        This is all academic now, but….

        1. Grienke is gone until mid-June. Capuano was moved from the bullpen for the time being. If Lilly proves that he’s able to pitch and ready to go, I seriously doubt that the Dodgers would keep him stashed in the minors rather than moving Capuano back to the bullpen. They’re stronger with the latter, unless Capuano turns into the second coming of Kershaw.

        2. Getting his release now to sign with another team, when he can’t even handle minor league batters, doesn’t do him much good. Why would a team pick him up as a major league-level rotation pitcher if he’s giving up tons of hits and runs at High-A and Triple A? If the Dodgers attempt to keep him in the minors after he improves, I believe he can still force his release then…and he’ll be more attractive to another team to pick up.

    • Jamblinman - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:55 PM

      Since when is 8 weeks “a few?” And he won’t have to pitch some rehab games in AAA because that’s what the Dodgers just assigned him to do and he refused. That is why this is an issue in the first place. Lilly looked like hell in his starts so far, and he knows it. As far as I’m concerned, the man is just being a prick. The Dodgers gave him a big contract, he didn’t pan out, and he won’t go the correct route to earn his spot back. Good riddance, Ted. I’ll take one of the eager, strong rookies as a fifth starter over him any day.

  7. cktai - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:55 AM

    Stubborn, old and injured: How long till RAJ makes a phone call?

  8. billyboots - Apr 15, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    Whatever he could bring to the Twins would be an improvement over what we’ve got.

  9. leshon42 - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Ted here is your plane ticket to Milwaukee oh and you are pitching on Sat..

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