Ted Lilly designated for assignment, Dodgers recall Elian Herrera from Triple-A

Jeff Gross

The Dodgers now have 38 players on the 40-man roster.

It stood to reason that the Dodgers weren't going to carry 13 pitchers for too long. But to get back down to a more standard 12-pitcher roster configuration, the Dodgers got rid of the very pitcher they activated a day ago. Ted Lilly was designated for assignment on Thursday, a day after he was activated from the disabled list.

Lilly didn't really have a role on the team as he hasn't proven himself healthy enough to start regularly this season, and his willingness to work out of the bullpen was overshadowed by fears of his ineffectiveness and the quality of the other seven relief pitchers on the team. The bottom line was that the Dodgers essentially chose to keep the volatile Carlos Marmol over Lilly, and it was very likely the correct choice as Marmol offers far greater upside than someone who figured to be the long man or mop-up specialist had Lilly remained in the bullpen.

Lilly has a $12 million salary in 2013, the final season of his three-year, $33 million contract. He was 0-2 with a 5.09 ERA in 23 innings over five starts this season, and was limited to just 13 starts for the Dodgers in his final two years with the team. Lilly was 24-21 with a 3.83 ERA in 58 starts in his parts of four seasons with the Dodgers.

Replacing Lilly on the active roster is Elian Herrera, who was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque for the third time this season. Herrera is 2-for-7 with a pair of singles in three games in his two previous stints with the Dodgers this season.

The Dodgers would have recalled Scott Van Slyke, but since he was optioned on Sunday he can't be recalled within 10 days unless replacing someone on the disabled list. The earliest Van Slyke can be recalled without a DL move is Wednesday, July 31.

But that means the Dodgers made the decision on Lilly on Thursday, which makes sense given that Mark Saxon of ESPN LA reported a disagreement between the Dodgers and Lilly on whether he would go back to the minors to adjust to the bullpen.

But the Dodgers had to know something like that would happen, and could have avoided this mess by designating him for assignment one day earlier rather than going through the charade of activating him from the disabled list for a day, only to change their mind 24 hours later. That would have allowed them to recall Van Slyke as the corresponding move for Matt Kemp getting placed on the disabled list.

Even Lilly was confused:

But perhaps not as confused as Saxon, who thought Van Slyke was recalled, too.


Game info

Time: 7:10 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

MLB Gameday

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