Updates from Wednesday, August 6
Cliff Lee‘s season is finished.
Lee’s locker inside the Phillies’ clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park had been completely cleared out before today’s game against the Astros. He is on the 15-day disabled list with a Grade 2 flexor pronator strain, and he is going to rest at home in Arkansas for about two weeks before rejoining the team early next month for a reevaluation.
Lee today visited orthopedist David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. He confirmed the Phillies’ diagnosis of Lee’s injury, which said no surgery is required. Following Altchek’s examination, Lee returned to Philadelphia to visit the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia for a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection in the elbow.
“We hope to get him into a throwing program in October or November,” Ruben Amaro Jr.said in a telephone call late Wednesday night. “But right now he needs to rest.”
Updates from Friday, August 1
Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News has the latest on Lee:
Cliff Lee will be reevaluated by a Phillies doctor tomorrow, MRI and other tests will come after they return home after weekend.— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) August 1, 2014
It turns out those fears about Cliff Lee's elbow were a bit justified. The Philadelphia Phillies ace left Thursday night's game against the Washington Nationals with an apparent elbow injury, per ESPN's Buster Olney:
And Cliff Lee takes himself out of the game after he gestures toward his elbow. Which is why teams were scared off: concerns re: elbow.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 31, 2014
Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reveals it is the same injury Lee previously suffered:
Phillies say Cliff Lee left tonight's game with a left flexor pronator strain. Same injury as before.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) August 1, 2014
The Phillies reported Lee will head to the disabled list:
#PhilliesUpdate: Following tonight's game, LHP Cliff Lee was placed on the 15-day DL with a left flexor pronator strain.— Phillies (@Phillies) August 1, 2014
To fill Lee's spot on the 25-man roster, LHP Cesar Jimenez had his contract selected from @IronPigs.— Phillies (@Phillies) August 1, 2014
Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News and Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal have more on Lee's injury:
Cliff Lee: "My last 5-6 pitches, I felt at any moment something could snap. And thats the end of it. I obviously didn’t want that to happen"— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) August 1, 2014
#Phillies will evaluate Lee tomorrow. Lee acknowledged that he may have thrown his last pitch of the season tonight.— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) August 1, 2014
Whatever the extent of the injury, it appears to be serious, per Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Cliff Lee threw an 85-m.p.h. cutter, yelled an expletive, and waved his arms in disgust. That is how it ended.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) August 1, 2014
Lee looked as if he might cry in the dugout. Incredible emotion from a man who never shows it.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) August 1, 2014
This is the second elbow-related injury for the 35-year-old in 2014 after suffering a mild strain back in May that kept him out until the middle of July.
Although that in part turned many teams off of a potential trade before the non-waiver deadline, Lee would've been a prime candidate to be moved in August if he could prove to be less of an injury risk.
As ESPN's Eric Karabell tweeted out, that's almost certainly not going to happen now:
Well, that will pretty much take care of any August trade rumors for Cliff Lee.— Eric Karabell (@karabellespn) July 31, 2014
It couldn't get much worse for the Phillies. Not only did nobody bite on Lee before Thursday, but now they're likely going to be stuck with him for the rest of the season. Getting out from under his massive deal would've allowed Philly a little more financial freedom heading into the offseason.
With Lee in his mid-30s, any sort of elbow injury is an immediate cause for concern, especially a second elbow injury within the span of a few months.