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: