The decision as to when Ted Lilly will make his first start of the season isn’t up to the veteran left-hander. But with two trainers, a manager, a pitching coach, three other starting pitchers and seven reporters looking on, Lilly made his pitch –pun intended– with an “intense” bullpen session Friday morning.
Lilly, who is recovering from a stiff neck, threw his full arsenal of pitches in a session at Camelback Ranch that lasted more than 10 minutes.
“I don’t feel any pain,” he said afterwards. “Maybe a little stiff but there’s nothing that’s grabbing me anymore. I feel like I can pretty much go through my normal delivery, make a normal throw.”
Lilly would likely throw a simulated game between now and next Saturday in San Diego if the team believes he is ready — a necessary step since he hasn’t pitched in a spring game since March 16.
“Normally I don’t throw that many in the bullpen, or I felt like my effort was maybe a little more intense than usual,” he said. “It’s been a while. I wanted to find out where it was. I threw a few (pitches) that were game speed.”
The alternative is that Lilly could be placed on the 15-day disabled list and Chris Capuano would start against the Padres next Saturday instead.
On the surface, it seems like a close call. Lilly was originally supposed to throw his bullpen session Thursday but the team pushed it back a day. Said Lilly, “I definitely feel quite a bit better today than yesterday even, yeah.”
Manager Don Mattingly could deliver the verdict after today’s split-squad game against the Brewers at Camelback.
A few more notes from this morning that may or may not make tomorrow’s editions:
Mattingly on Cory Sullivan, who was released from his minor-league contract Thursday: “I don’t think he did anything wrong, to me. He swung the bat good, showed he could be a guy coming off the bench as a pinch-hitter. Really, there wasn’t a slot. We’ve got T. Gwynn. If something would’ve happened to ‘T’ during camp, you never know what would’ve happened in there. As we talked yesterday, we didn’t anticipate Jerry (Sands) going to Triple-A. We anticipated Jerry being here. There’s no at-bats for (Sullivan) there (in Triple-A) right now. For him to go there and sit and do nothing, that doesn’t make sense. This gives him a chance to hook on somewhere, gives him a chance to play.”
The plan for Adam Kennedy (groin) is to DH in a minor-league game tomorrow and possibly play in the Dodgers’ game Sunday in Glendale against the Diamondbacks.
Magic Johnson still had not spoken to Mattingly as of Friday, but the manager did speak to Stan Kasten. “He said he’d be around, that he planned on being around a lot and basically wanted to do anything he could do to help us.”