Ted Lilly Has Shoulder Surgery; Chicago Cubs Pitcher Expected Back Next April

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIINovember 5, 2009

CHICAGO - AUGUST 28: Starting pitcher Ted Lilly #30 of the Chicago Cubs delivers the ball against the New York Mets on August 28, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Mets 5-2.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

This has been a big week for surgeries around baseball.

On Monday it was the New York Mets’ Jeff Francoeur going under the knife , on Tuesday it was the Detroit Tigers’ Brandon Inge and the mother of The Ghost of Moonlight Graham having surgery, and yesterday it was the Chicago Cubs’ Ted Lilly getting repaired.

According to the Chicago Tribune , the left-handed Lilly had shoulder surgery yesterday on his throwing shoulder. The surgery was performed by renowned surgeon Dr. Lewis Yocum (I almost wrote Dwight there).

Lilly won’t begin throwing until four months from now, and the Cubs don’t expect Lilly back until April.

Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said the Cubs were encouraged there was no significant damage to the labrum or rotator cuff and said Dr. Yocum thinks there’s “a good possibility Ted would be pitching in April” if all goes well.

Despite having five fewer wins in '09 than in '08 (12 to 17) and battling injuries in the second half of the year, Lilly actually had one of the best statistical years of his career. Lilly set career lows for WHIP with 1.056, ERA with 3.10, HR/9 with 1.1, and BB/9 with 1.8.

So what can fantasy owners expect out of Theodore Roosevelt Lilly in 2010?

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I expect Lilly to be a serviceable back-of-the-rotation or spot starter in fantasy leagues next year. I really can’t see a soon to be 33-year-old coming off shoulder surgery (even if it wasn’t major) having as good or even a better season in 2010 than he did in '08 or '09.

I would expect Lilly to start around 25 games and have around nine to 10 wins and an ERA a little north of four in 2010.