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The 33-year-old Lilly went 12 days between his final WBC appearance and his return start with the Cubs in spring training. He then had a rough exhibition outing April 3 at Yankee Stadium.
Lilly is the type of pitcher who needs all three of his main pitches -- fastball, curveball and changeup -- working in sync. That's not the case yet.
History also says Lilly can be a slow starter. Last April, he was 1-4 with a 6.46 ERA in April, but he rebounded to go 4-0 in May on his way to a 17-win season. With the Cubs skipping No. 5 starter Sean Marshall the first time through the rotation, Lilly figures to work on his regular turns, and that could help to right him.