Dodgers DFA Old Man Lilly, Call Up Herrera


The Dodgers are making some interesting roster maneuvers and this time they are roster machinations I can get behind. The Dodgers announced today that they have designated starting pitcher Ted Lilly for assignment, and recalled Elian Herrera from Albuquerque.

The Dodgers had activated Lilly when the team was in Toronto after placing Matt Kemp on the DL for his ankle sprain. The Dodgers never used him in the Toronto series, and now coming back home to start a six game home stand, they definitely don’t need him. Lilly had been rehabbing hoping to recover from his eternal rustiness that has plagued his career. Lilly has been unable to stay healthy over the last few seasons due to a myriad of injuries. Rusty back, neck, shoulder, and ribs have rendered Lily completely unusable since 2011.

Despite being a rusty old man of unreasonable proportions, Lily when healthy was somewhat decent in his tenure with the Dodgers. Coming into this season Lilly’s ERA was a relatively solid 3.75. Lilly has only pitched in five games this season. He was 0-2 with a 5.09 ERA in 23 innings pitched. He whiffed 18 and walked 10, while posting a 1.6 WHIP, and a 7.0 whiff per nine rate.

So long Ted-Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 37 year old left hander hasn’t pitched since June 4, and has really had just one effective outing all season. He’s had multiple trips on and off the Disabled list this season. Lilly in 34 starts at Dodger Stadium is 15-12 with a 3.88 ERA in 204 innings. Lilly is in the final year of a three year 33 million dollar contract. He is still owed 12 million dollars for 2013. The two time all-star has a 130-113 record, and a 4.14 ERA. Lilly was originally drafted by the Dodgers has pitched for 15 MLB seasons for five other MLB teams. (Montreal, Yankees, Cubs, Blue Jays, Dodgers)

I love this move. I think it’s beyond time to cut bait with Lilly. He’s old, declined, and expensive. Despite being decent when healthy, he’s clearly cooked.

Some people are wondering why the Dodgers didn’t just DFA him on Wednesday in Toronto? If I had to venture a guess, I think it’s probably because the team wanted him there as an extra pitcher just in case they needed him. With the games in an AL park and the use of the DH didn’t necessitate the use of an extra position player. But with the bullpen recently taxed, the Dodgers figured they may have needed an extra arm, just in case of an emergency. They almost needed him since last night’s game went 10 innings. If it had gone longer, they may have used Lilly.

Elian Herrera brings some useful versatility to the Dodgers. He’s a switch-hitter who runs the bases well, and can play anywhere on the diamond. Herrera was batting .290 for the Isotopes, with six home runs, 40 RBI, and 14 stolen bases in 80 games. Herrera has played in three games for the big club this season, seeing time primarily in the outfield. He is 2 for 7 this year with no home runs in seven plate appearances.