Cliff Lee throws two scoreless innings in Grapefruit League debut

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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.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”