After a painful trade-deadline, or lack there of in the Phillies’ case, came and went today, the Phillies’ fanbase sure could have used a pick-me-up. Instead, Cliff Lee, who was in his third start since returning from the disabled list, left his start in the third inning, likely walking off the field for the final time in 2014.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury says that Lee is going to return to the disabled list, and that he re-injured the same left elbow that he just returned from.
The official word from the Phillies was that Lee suffered a recurrence of the flexor-pronator tendon strain that had sent him to the disabled list on May 20.
This feels like piling on for an already depleted team, but frankly, all it really means is that Lee is probably not going to pitch for the rest of the year. If he ends up needing surgery, then it is a bigger problem. But Lee wasn’t going anywhere in August. The Phillies weren’t going to pick up over $20 million of the $37.5 million he had left on his deal past this year, to get pretty much nothing in return. And given the way Lee had returned from the DL, that’s what they would have had to do to move him, even in August.
I’m not going to feed you a plate of bullshit like Ruben Amaro does every single time that he speaks, so I’m not going to try to trick you that if you pair Lee and Cole Hamels at the top of the rotation for 2015, you have some sort of chance to compete. We’ve tried that three years in a row now, and it hasn’t worked. What I can try to sell you on, is that if Lee bounces back next year, he will have value 365 days from now. And that value, despite the fact that Lee will almost assuredly be bought out for 2016, will be much higher than it would have been in August of 2014.
Update 11:06 PM EST: Lee doesn’t sound optimistic he’ll pitch again in 2014.
Cliff Lee, on whether he threw his last pitch of 2014 tonight: “That’s probably the case.” MRI scheduled.
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) August 1, 2014
Cliff Lee believes it is same injury and season is over. He doesnt think its larger problem. He thought elbow was getting better and healed
— John Clark CSN (@JClarkCSN) August 1, 2014
Cliff Lee says he stopped throwing to prevent something snapping in his left elbow
— Jeff Skversky (@JeffSkversky) August 1, 2014
2007-2011 were great. I have a feeling we might be bragging about those years for a while, after today.