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.
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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.