Veteran left-hander Cliff Lee was limited to 81 1/3 innings (13 starts) last season due to elbow trouble, and he’s apparently not done with that battle.
Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News reports that Lee is complaining of discomfort in his left elbow after throwing two innings Thursday in his Grapefruit League debut. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com says Lee had an MRI on the elbow Saturday and it showed no structural damage to his ulnar collateral ligmanet. It’s a flexor pronator problem — the same thing that plagued him in 2014.
Lee was supposed to be trade bait this spring or summer for the rebuilding Phillies, but it’s hard to see a team biting from this current vantage point. The 36-year-old is due a $25 million salary in 2015 and his $27 million vesting option for the 2016 season carries a whopping $12.5 million buyout.
In his first game action since last July 31, Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee threw two scoreless innings this afternoon in his Grapefruit League debut against the Astros.
Lee, who was limited to just 13 starts last season due to a flexor pronator strain, allowed two singles while walking none and striking out none. He threw 16 out of 22 pitches for strikes. According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, Lee said that his elbow felt “normal.”
“I don’t have any uncertainty,” he said. “I definitely have confidence and expect to go out there and be successful, and I’m doing everything I can to prevent something like that from happening again. That’s really all I can do. There’s no worry or uncertainty or anything like that. I’m just going to go out there and be confident and expect to have success and not really even think about it, to be honest with you.”
It’s unlikely that anyone will trade for Lee based off a handful of starts in spring training, but he’s an obvious candidate to be moved if he proves his health and effectiveness during the first half. The 36-year-old southpaw is owed $25 million this season and $27.5 million or a $12.5 million buyout for 2017.
In what will be his first game action since last July 31, Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee is set to make his Grapefruit League debut next Thursday against the Astros.
Lee finished last season on the disabled list with a recurrence of a flexor pronator strain in his elbow, but Phillies pitching coach Bob McClure told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that he’s healthy and ready to go.
“Cliff is right on. He’s throwing well. He feels good. So he’s right on schedule,” McClure said.
Lee is expected to pitch two innings, which is pretty standard for a spring debut. He’ll get stretched out in subsequent outings in advance of the regular season. A healthy spring might not be enough to convince someone to trade for him, but he’s obviously someone who could get moved at some point this year.
Lee, 36, is owed $25 million this season and $27.5 million or a $12 million buyout for 2016.