2013 Dodgers review: Ted Lilly

USA TODAY Sports

The final season of Ted Lilly's three-year, $33 million contract with the Dodgers featured more minor league rehab starts than major league appearances.

Of all the 2013 Dodgers reviews, Ted Lilly is the most personal as he is the last player on the Dodgers' 40-man roster who was older than me. Here's a look back at Lilly's injury-plagued campaign.

What went right

Lilly allowed just two stolen bases in five games in 2013, which is a miniscule total after allowing 51 steals in his first 53 starts as a Dodger.

Lilly had two good starts for the Dodgers in 2013. In his first game of the year, on April 24 in New York, the left-hander allowed just one run in five innings and struck out seven, about as good as the Dodgers could have expected from his first major league start in 11 months.

Then on May 25 Lilly allowed one earned run on just two hits while pitching into the sixth inning against the Cardinals, retiring 14 straight batters at one point. But Lilly was pulled after just 71 pitches in that game, a pitch limit he didn't know he was on.

What went wrong

That miscommunication was a symbol of the distrust between Lilly and, for lack of a better term, management. Lilly was unaware of his pitch limit in that May 25 start, but that sanction was delivered in part because Lilly had just spent four weeks on the disabled list with a strained rib cage that he didn't tell the trainers about until after a bad start, allowing five runs in three innings to the Rockies on April 29.

Lilly was simply unable to stay healthy long enough to be effective for the Dodgers. He made just five starts for the Dodgers in 2013, none lasting longer than 5⅔ innings. Lilly allowed 38 runners to reach base in 23 innings to go with his 5.09 ERA.

After three stints on the disabled list and more rehab starts (six) than major league starts, the Dodgers briefly talked of sending Lilly to the bullpen but that was just lip service. The team parted ways with the southpaw on July 25, designating him for assignment.

It was a bittersweet end of Lilly's Dodgers tenure. Of all the hurlers adversely affected by the Dodgers' carrying eight starting pitchers to open the season, Lilly was by far the most outspoken about his willingness to stay with the team, even saying in spring training that he would rather pitch in the bullpen in Los Angeles than start elsewhere.

2014 status

Lilly never caught on elsewhere in 2013, and is now a free agent. The left-hander is trying to reestablish his value in Venezuela this winter, even going so far as to cauterize the nerve endings in his neck to relieve the stiffness and pain he dealt with in 2013, per Ben Nicholson-Smith of SportsNet.

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