Ted Lilly calls it a career

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The left-hander, drafted by the Dodgers in 1996, finally played for them in 2010 and was 24-21 with a 3.83 ERA, a 98 ERA+ in 58 starts with Los Angeles, the final 58 starts of his career.

Former Dodgers left-handed pitcher Ted Lilly has decided to retire after 15 MLB seasons, he told Venezuelan newspaper El Universal on Wednesday.

Lilly, 37, had three separate stints on the disabled list in 2013 with the Dodgers, finishing 0-2 with a 5.09 ERA with 18 strikeouts and 10 walks in 23 innings. He was released in July.

The left-hander told El Universal that, because of injuries 2013 was the worst season of his career. He was attempting a comeback by pitching with Navegantes del Magallanes, but made just one start, allowing three runs and four walks in 3⅓ innings on Nov. 20.

Lilly said his neck feels better, but back and shoulder injuries made his decision to retire that much easier.

"Overall, my body tells me I can not anymore. I feel I have the ability to keep pitching in the Major Leagues," Lilly told El Universal (roughly translated). "I don't feel I can get back to being the pitcher I was a few years ago."

The Dodgers acquired Lilly at the trade deadline in 2010, and he went 7-4 with a 3.52 ERA in 12 starts down the stretch. He parlayed that into a lucrative three-year contract worth $33 million. After going 12-14 with a 3.97 ERA in 33 starts in 2011, with 158 strikeouts and 51 walks in 192⅔ innings, injuries derailed the final two years of his deal.

Lilly started off on fire in 2012, at 5-0 with a 1.79 ERA in his first seven starts. But that eighth start was a blow-up affair, allowing eight runs in Arizona, and was his final start of the season, which ended with left shoulder surgery. In 2013 with injuries to his neck, back/ribs, and shoulder, Lilly made more minor league rehab starts (six) than major league starts (five).

Lilly ends his MLB career at 130-113 with a 4.14 ERA, a 106 ERA+, in 356 games, including 331 starts. He finished just shy of 2,000 career innings, with 1982⅔ frames in his 15 seasons.

He told El Universal that he'd like to get into coaching, but would discuss with his family first.

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