Dodgers should wait until after weekend before deciding on Manny, Lilly

June 27, 2010 Los Angeles, CA..Manny Ramirez of the Dodgers in action during the Major League Baseball game between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The Yankees defeated the Dodgers, 8-6, in 10 innings..Josh Thompson/CSM.

I’ve got one two words of advice for the Los Angeles Dodgers right now: Have patience.’s Jon Heyman is reporting that the White Sox have won the waiver claim on outfielder Manny Ramirez and the Dodgers now have until Tuesday to either trade him or pull him back. Ken Rosenthal is also reporting that L.A. has placed starter Ted Lilly on waivers, meaning a deal could also be forthcoming for him if he’s claimed.

The problem is that the Dodgers have won three in a row and are now only five games behind the Giants in the NL Wild Card race. Less than a week ago, it made sense to put players like Manny and Lilly on waivers seeing as how neither of them will be part of the team’s long-term plans. But today, things are much trickier.

Do the Dodgers keep Manny and Lilly in order to make a run at the playoffs or do they trade them and hope to get lucky over the next 30-plus games?

If they wait, that question could be answered for them over the next three days. The Dodgers are set to play the Rockies (who are four games back in the Wild Card chase) in Colorado for a three-game set starting tonight. If they take the series and the other Wild Card contenders (Giants, Phillies, Cardinals) struggle, then why not keep Manny and Lilly and try to make a run?

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Phillies have deal in place for Roy Oswalt

08 Mar 2002 : Roy Oswalt of the Houston Astros during the Spring Training Game against the Kansas City Royals in Haines City, Florida. The Astros won 11-0. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Did you think the Phillies were just going to lie back and let the Braves take the NL East from them? You did? Well then you, my friend, were wrong. Dead wrong.

According to FOX 26 in Houston, the Phillies have a deal in place for Astros’ starter Roy Oswalt and are waiting for the pitcher to sign off on it. He needs to waive his no-trade clause before any deal goes through, but unless he really, really likes the Beer Can House (it’s made of cans! Cans, I tell ya!), then there’s little doubt that Oswalt is on his way out of Houston.

Apparently the two sides have agreed on the amount of money that the Astros will take back in the deal and the two teams have agreed on the players that the Phillies will have to give up. Who those players are nobody knows, but J.A. Happ is probably one of them.

Speaking of Happ, it was rumored yesterday that he may have been involved in a deal that would have sent him to the Cubs in exchange for Ted Lilly. But obviously if the Phillies acquire Oswalt, Lilly would be dropped from Philly’s plans like a (insert clichéd line here).

More on this story as it develops.

Ted Lilly for J.A. Happ trade in works?

Jul 9, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Chicago Cubs starter Ted Lilly (30) pitches during the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Photo via Newscom

Well, it’s certainly not Roy Oswalt but the Phillies appear to be on the verge of acquiring a starter as the trade deadline nears.’s Ed Price is reporting via his Twitter page that a possible Ted Lilly-for-J.A.-Happ deal could be in the works, although nothing is confirmed as of now.

The 34-year-old Lilly has posted a 3.69 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 18 starts this season and would give the Phillies the middle-of-the-rotation arm that they so desperately need down the stretch. (Too bad Lilly can’t fix their offensive woes.)

Happ is 1-0 with a 1.76 ERA and nine Ks at the big league level this year. He also has 12 walks and his WHIP is 1.63, but he’s a young lefty with plenty of talent. If he could figure out his command troubles, a change of scenery might do him good.

We’ll see if the two clubs can work a deal out.

Casey Blake accuses Ted Lilly of cheating

Following the Cubs’ 1-0 blanking of the Dodgers on Thursday at Wrigley Field, L.A. third baseman Casey Blake accused Chicago starter Ted Lilly of cheating, stating that the pitcher should have been punished for starting his windup on some pitches from in front of the rubber.

From the L.A. Times:

“I know he doesn’t have an overpowering fastball,” Blake said. “I know he’s trying to get as much of an edge as he can. But he moved in.

“That’s cheating. You’ve got to stay on the rubber.”

“Sometimes a batter will get in the box and he’ll step out, and behind the box, and on the lines,” Lilly said. “I don’t think he’s trying to cheat. It might not be intentional.”

By pitching from in front of the rubber, Lilly said, a pitcher would lose the leverage of pushing off the rubber. Any such deliveries were strictly inadvertent, he said.

“I might have done it a couple times, just trying to gain my footing,” he said.

Lilly makes several good points. If a pitcher starts his windup from in front of the rubber, then he loses the leverage and momentum he gains from pushing off the slab. I don’t see why a pitcher would intentionally pitch in front of the rubber unless he’s trying to mix up the speed of his pitches in order to fool a hitter.

Lilly is also right about the hitters re-creating the dimensions of the batter’s box by scraping off the back line. That allows hitters to see pitches for an extra half second, which could make a huge difference, yet they’re never punished for that. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but why are some rules enforced and some aren’t? Rules should be always enforced or the league should evolve and adjust them.

Lilly didn’t come right out and say that he didn’t pitch in front of the rubber on some occasions, so obviously Blake was right in what he saw. But I’m a little surprised that Blake threw such a tantrum over it and went as far as to call Lilly out for being a cheater. I wonder how much tissue paper the Dodgers had to use in the clubhouse after Blake was done crying. The poor clubhouse attendant probably needed a mop afterward.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

2010 MLB Preview: NL Central

In order to help get you ready for the MLB season, we’re doing division-by-division rankings with quick overviews on how each club could fair in 2010. Next to each team, you’ll also find a corresponding number written in parenthesis, which indicates where we believe that club falls in a league-wide power ranking. Be sure to check back throughout the next two weeks leading up to the season, as we will be updating our content daily. Enjoy.

All 2010 MLB Preview Content | AL East Preview | AL Central Preview | AL West Preview | NL East | NL Central | NL West

Next up is the NL Central.

1. St. Louis Cardinals (4)
Albert Pujols, Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Matt Holliday could help the Cardinals win this division sauced out of their minds on a nightly basis. That said, would anyone really be surprised if Carpenter’s arm falls off and the starting pitching (which is among the best in the league) suffers? It’s happened before, so if you answered “yes” to the proposed question then you sir or madam, have not been paying attention. Still, the addition of Brad Penny (who pitched well in the second half last year) will strengthen the club’s starting pitching and Kyle Lohse is a fine middle of the rotation guy. Pujols and Holliday will ignite the offense again, although Colby Rasmus might be the key to whether or not this team makes a serious World Series run. Skip Schumaker is a solid table setter, but how Rasmus fairs hitting in front of Pujols and Holliday could be the difference between the Cards winning the NL Central again and playing for a championship. David Freese better produce too or else the club will regret not acquiring a veteran third baseman in the offseason. All in all, the Cardinals are the best the NL Central has to offer and should make another postseason appearance this season. But how far they go beyond that depends on whether or not Carpenter and Wainwright can continue their magic and if Pujols and Holliday receive help from the rest of the lineup.

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