The Cubs finally made the trade that had been talked about all week long — Ted Lilly & Ryan Theriot to the Dodgers for Blake DeWitt and 2 pitching prospects.
Lilly had been solid for the Cubs all season long despite a 3-8 record. As we discussed last week, he had a fine ERA (3.69) and WHIP (1.14), but got very little run support in his starts.
Theriot moved over from shortstop to 2nd base when the Cubs called up young superstar Starlin Castro. He had a “down” year, hitting only .284 with 10 doubles. Usually a player who found his way on-base a lot, his on-base percentage was a disappointing .320, his lowest number in 3 years (he has a career .350 on-base percentage).
DeWitt, one the other hand, had a .352 on-base percentage in 2010. He was hitting .270 with 29 runs and 30 RBI’s mostly hitting in the bottom part of the lineup for the Dodgers. At (almost) 25, DeWitt has age on his side as well. Theriot is 30 years old and seems to have hit his peak with the Cubs. DeWitt has a lot of upside and we could see DeWitt playing along side Castro for a lot of years as the Cubs double-play combination. In his debut on Sunday in the Cubs 8-7 loss to the Rockies, DeWitt had 3 hits and an RBI.
Aside from the trade and a horrible sweep at the hands of the Rockies in Colorado over the weekend, the Cubs also “welcomed” Carlos Zambrano back into the clubhouse. Big Z made a “sincere” apology to his teammates before Friday’s game. He also pitched on Saturday and Sunday, although it wasn’t pretty. He gave up a walk and a hit in 2/3 of an inning on Saturday. On Sunday, after pitching a scoreless 4th inning despite 2 hits, he cracked in the 5th inning. He walked the 1st 2 batters he faced and then gave up 2 more hits which scored 2 runs. Not good. Maybe the Cubs need to think about bringing him back into the rotation. With Lilly gone and Carlos Silva, likely headed to the DL to address his heart rate issue, Big Z could get that chance sooner than we think…
Oh yeah, in the Dodgers trade, the Cubs also got 2 minor league pitchers. Brett Wallach is the son of former MLB player Tim Wallach. Wallach pitched at the Single A level this season, going 6-0 with a 3.72 ERA in 17 starts. He struck out 92 batters in just over 84 innings pitched. Kyle Smit appeared at the Single-A and Double-A level in 2010. In 37 appearances, Smit racked up 6 saves with a 2.35 ERA.