Cliff Lee gave Mariners fans a scare earlier this month by undergoing surgery to remove bone spurs from his left foot, but it looks like reports of the operation being “minor” will prove accurate.
Lee is scheduled to throw his first bullpen session of the spring next Wednesday, which would actually put him slightly ahead of the initial recovery timetable issued by the Mariners. Here’s how Lee explained the situation to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times:
The doctor looked at it and found this bony mass at the top of my foot. I was told I could do two things: either have surgery on it right away or start taking these shots to numb the pain and keep taking them all season. No way I was going to do that, so I had the surgery. I’m getting around pretty good on it right now.
Definitely the right decision, because trying to pitch through the pain would have been a mistake and there’s still more than enough time for Lee to get ready for Opening Day. In fact, if he can get on a mound next week and avoid a setback he’ll basically be right on schedule with the rest of the pitching staff.
The loss of a close, well-pitched game is hard enough for any team to take, but when you lose two key players to injury in the process it’s gotta be damn nigh intolerable. That’s what happened to the Angels last night in their 3-1 loss to Minnesota, losing Andrelton Simmons and Shohei Ohtani. And it happened on consecutive plays in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Simmons is likely to be gone for an extended period after suffering a sprained ankle which was later deemed “severe”. Indeed, they weren’t sure it wasn’t broken until the X-rays came back negative. He sustained the injury running to first base, trying to beat out an infield hit. He came down on the ankle and it twisted in ugly fashion — there are Gifs of it on Twitter and stuff, but you don’t wanna see them — before tumbling over the bag to the ground. Simmons will have an MRI today to see how bad things really are.
Ohtani got off more easily, getting hit in the right ring finger with a pitch while striking out. His X-rays were also negative, but they will reassess him today.
Simmons is hitting .298/.323/.415 on the year while playing his usual spectacular defense. Ohtani, who just came back from Tommy John surgery as a hitter a couple of weeks ago, is hitting .250/.345/.375.