Cliff Lee “was trying to hurry” through his first rehab start before rain washed it away

2 Comments

Phillies ace Cliff Lee began a minor-league rehab assignment Sunday at Single-A, throwing two innings in a shorter-than-planned outing that was halted by rain.

In fact, Lee’s start never officially happened because the game was eventually suspended. But before rain washed everything away the rehabbing left-hander tossed two scoreless innings, striking out two and allowing one hit.

And via John Perrotto of CSNPhilly.com, Lee told reporters afterward:

I felt fine. 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 has been out since mid-May with a strained elbow, so even if Mother Nature abides he’ll need at least a couple more rehab starts before the Phillies feel comfortable putting him back into the rotation.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $25,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Monday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on MondayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
Getty Images
4 Comments

Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.