There's a chance Cliff Lee returns this month

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cliff lee throwing.JPGThe Mariners were so encouraged by Cliff Lee’s 63-pitch bullpen session on Monday that they haven’t ruled out his return before the end of the month. Here’s what manager Don Wakamatsu told Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times:

“Yeah, that’s our tendency right now…that’s a possibility,” Wakamatsu
said.

Lee’s return might be expedited if the Mariners choose to limit him to one simulated game followed by one minor league rehab start. One significant factor in this timetable is whether Lee’s five-game suspension is reduced during his appeal hearing on Wednesday.

Basically, worst-case scenario is that M’s fans get Lee back in the first week of May. That doesn’t sound so bad right now.