Updates from Monday, July 21
Cliff Lee, Reid Brignac and Wil Nieves activated from DL. Koyie Hill outrighted, Tony Gwynn Jr. DFA'd and Cesar Hernandez optioned.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) July 21, 2014
Updates from Monday, July 14
Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com provides stats from Cliff Lee's latest rehab appearance:
Cliff Lee struggled in his third rehab start at Clearwater, allowing eight runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings.
Only three of Lee's runs against the Palm Beach Cardinals were earned. Five came across in the first inning
Lee threw 74 pitches, 49 for strikes.
Updates from Sunday, July 13
Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Cliff Lee's return to the Philadelphia Phillies"
Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg has announced his post-all-star break rotation.
Cliff Lee, making his final rehab start Monday in Clearwater, will start July 21 at home against San Francisco and Roberto Hernandez starts the next night.
Updates from Monday, July 7
Cliff Lee commented on his recovery following his first rehab start on Sunday, in which he pitched two scoreless innings before rain set in, per John Perrotto of CSNPhilly.com:
'I felt fine,' Lee told reporters after the game. 'I threw two cutters and everything else was a fastball. You could see the weather coming, so I was trying to hurry.'
'It's another step in the right direction,' Lee said. 'I didn't expect to not throw for three weeks. The initial part took longer than I thought.'
Updates from Wednesday, July 2
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly has the latest news on Cliff Lee:
If Cliff Lee feels good tomorrow he will pitch at CLW in minor lg game Sunday, GM Amaro said— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) July 1, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, July 1
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reported the latest on Cliff Lee's recovery:
Cliff Lee threw 60 P to hitters today. Next stop could be minor lg start if bounces back OK.— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) July 1, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, June 17
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly talked to Cliff Lee who updated his rehab:
Cliff Lee threw 20 fastballs off bullpen mound, close to max effort, felt good, believes he could be back before all star break— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) June 17, 2014
Updates from Thursday, June 12
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly provided the latest news on Cliff Lee's recovery:
Cliff Lee took another small step in his recovery from an elbow strain on Thursday. The left-hander made 40-45 tosses on flat ground and was pleased with the results.
“It’s feeling good, progressing, it’s getting there,” Lee said afterward. “There’s a little tightness, but that’s from all the exercises I’ve been doing. Overall, it feels good.”
If Lee continues to feel good, he could play catch again on Friday and then be ready to increase the intensity of his throwing early next week.
Updates from Wednesday, June, 11
Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News provided the latest step in Cliff Lee's rehab:
"I'm tired of rehabbing," he said.
But Lee's lengthy stay away from the mound took an important step on Tuesday: he picked up a baseball and played catch for the first time in 22 days.
"I felt fine," Lee said.
Lee will throw again on Thursday. Manager Ryne Sandberg said the plan will be for Lee to throw every other day initially, and then progress to throwing on back-to-back days, with a day of rest in between.
Updates from Tuesday, June 3
Todd Zolecki and Austin Laymance of MLB.com have the latest on Lee's recovery:
The Phillies had hoped Cliff Lee could begin his throwing program as early as last week, but the wait continues.
"It's still there a little bit," Lee said Monday about the discomfort in his left elbow. "It's getting better."
Lee has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 19 with a strained elbow. He said he plans to join the team on its upcoming six-game road trip to Washington and Cincinnati, which begins Tuesday night against the Nationals at Nationals Park. He is hopeful he can begin his throwing program on the road.
"There's a chance that could happen on this road trip," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.
Updates from Monday, May 26
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly broke down the next steps in Cliff Lee's rehab:
Cliff Lee was evaluated today by Phillies medical personal. Not cleared to throw yet. Will be re-evaluated in three days, team says— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) May 26, 2014
Updates from Thursday, May 22
Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News provides an update on the Phillies' rotation with Cliff Lee on the DL:
David Buchanan has been announced as Saturday's starter for the Phillies against the Dodgers, taking Cliff Lee's spot in rotation.— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) May 22, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, May 21
The Phillies announced who is replacing Cliff Lee on the team's roster after the star pitcher was placed on the disabled list:
The Philadelphia Phillies are hanging around in the crowded National League East, but looming news concerning starting pitcher Cliff Lee's elbow could soon change that.
CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury and the Philly Inquirer's Matt Gelb provide the details:
Amaro said Lee had some discomfort in elbow last three weeks. Little more Sunday late in game. So decided on MRI. No results yet.— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) May 20, 2014
It's a flexor pronator strain for Cliff Lee. Phillies doctors were alarmed enough to send him for MRI. Pitched for three weeks with it.— Matt Gelb (@magelb) May 20, 2014
CSN's Jim Salisbury announced Tuesday evening that Lee will go on the disabled list:
Cliff Lee will go on DL, Amaro just announced. Phils hope just a 15 day thing. Elbow flexor strain— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) May 21, 2014
We obviously won't be able to know anything for sure until the MRI results are in, but whenever you have "elbow discomfort" and "ace pitcher" in the same train of thought, there is potential for a devastating blow.
In his 13th season in the bigs, Lee's numbers have been subpar compared to the last six seasons. Still, Lee at his worst is something most pitchers would gladly accept—3.18 ERA, 1.279 WHIP and 2.63 FIP, per baseball-reference.com. Moreover, while he's been hit a little harder than usual, his 6.78 strikeout-to-walk ratio is still sparkling.
Cole Hamels has been dominant over his last two trips to the bump, while A.J. Burnett and Kyle Kendrick have enjoyed solid seasons, so the Phils aren't completely bare in the starting rotation. Still, a significant injury to their ace would be potentially calamitous.
As Rotoworld's Drew Silva noted, the potential affect goes beyond just on-the-diamond results, too:
Cliff Lee is making $25M this year and owed $25M next year. Tommy John surgery would be a killer for the Phillies.— Drew Silva (@drewsilv) May 20, 2014
Losing a stud so shortly after Jose Fernandez's injury would also serve as yet another blow to baseball in general, so hopefully the MRI produces encouraging results.