First, the semi-good news … actually, none of this is even good or bad news considering the state of this team, just news: Although he will not pitch again this season and won’t likely throw a ball until “October or November,” Cliff Lee won’t need surgery.
And in other Phillies (neutral) news, Cole Hamels and Marlon Byrd have reportedly both been claimed off of waivers. Hamels’ suitors are apparently the Chicago Cubs, and Byrd’s team is still unknown. Both of these bits are unsurprising and, as of now, meaningless since the Phillies can always pull those players off of waivers if they do not like the deals that are being thrown their way (or really, just because they want to).
Even though the trade deadline came and went without so much as Ruben Amaro rolling out of bed and checking his phone, the Phillies still could’ve moved Cliff Lee before the end of the season if he were to clear waivers (probable). In fact, you could argue that it was likely he would get dealt. But nope. Not anymore. Whatever remaining value he had is gone. Urinated away into the D.C. night.
He hurt himself in the third inning tonight. After throwing his first pitch to Denard Span, he walked off the mound, pointed toward his elbow, and basically took himself out of the game. Here, watch:
I’m not a doctor, but I play one on this blog, and that to me looks like the sort of reaction pitchers have before they need Tommy John surgery. It’s once again Lee’s flexor-pronator in his left elbow. Jim Salisbury explains:
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. Given that Lee missed two months with that injury and now has a similar problem, it’s not a stretch to believe that his season is over.
Lee, who turns 36 in August, is owed the remainder of $25 million for this season and is guaranteed $37.5 million after this season. How this injury impacts next season is unclear, but if Lee were to require surgery, he could miss time in 2015, as well.
That’s just great. Well done, Rube. Well done.
Just extending the misery of not knowing what the hell Ruben is going to do, Buster Olney pointed out that Cliff Lee would likely clear waivers after the trade deadline due to the amount of money he is owed. This also gives Ruben more time to “evaluate” and OH GOD WON’T SOMEONE MAKE IT STOP.
[Gotta hit the audio button in the corner.]
Strong efforts from both Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon, but I think I got to go with Lee. I don’t know. I feel like his had a nice mix of moisture and depth that is difficult to produce, especially on-command. There’s no doubt that he was aided by the CSN microphone, which has a wider audio spectrum (deeper deeps and wetter wets) than the undisclosed reporter’s recorder on which Papelbon’s expulsion was captured, but Lee’s just had more force. It was perhaps a shart. Papelbon’s sounded like a cardboard box being ripped and lacked bass in the same way the stereo system in your mom’s car lacks bass, because she “just wanted it to sound loud.” You don’t need to be an audiophile to shake your damn head at that approach.
What says you?
Your 2014 Philadelphia Phillies!
Scouts watching Lee last night, via (@M_Coca_COLA)
Jerry Crasnick, writing for ESPN.com, reports on the nine teams Cliff Lee can be traded to without his consent:
Lee’s deal also includes a limited no-trade clause that allows him to block trades to 20 teams. According to a baseball source, Lee has listed Atlanta, Cleveland, Houston, Miami, Minnesota, the New York Mets, San Diego, Tampa Bay and Washington as the nine teams he can be traded to without his consent.
Against that backdrop, the Tigers, Pirates, Orioles, Mariners, Angels, Royals, Blue Jays and Giants — contenders all — were among a dozen teams that had scouts at Monday’s game. No one can say for sure who was on hand to expressly scout Lee, in part because the Phillies have so many other tradable commodities on their roster.
Good reporting there. These lists often aren’t ever made public. But, it doesn’t mean much. Typically when players have a limited no-trade clause and are able to select teams to which they’d accept a trade, they choose small market franchises and division rivals. Why? Because the small market teams can’t afford them and there’s little chance a franchise would want to see a traded star a dozen times per season. So, with the exception of Cleveland, Lee’s former team, this list basically represents the teams Lee would never get dealt to. But that doesn’t mean Lee couldn’t or wouldn’t waive his NTC to go the Yankees, Giants, Orioles, Angels or whomever else. Listing unlikely suitors just means that he’ll get to have a say in all al this. Hashtag themoreyouknow.
Pretty sure Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon have launched an all-out bodily gas war against the Philly media. It’s the most fight the team has shown this season.
On the heels of Papelbon’s leg-lifting, mid-interview flatulence after a 1-0 win against the Braves on April 17 – the same day that Lee belched at or just in the general direction of reporters – Lee last night let out an audible post-interview stink, “of which he seemed quite proud.”
Before letting it rip, Lee looked around somewhat mischievously, perhaps searching for his 1706 Rittenhouse buddy Papelbon. A slight grin formed on Lee’s lips after the gas had passed.
Funny, but actually pretty dickish. One in-person witness to Papelbon’s April 17 gas remarked to me that “there are a lot of good guys in that clubhouse, but [Lee and Papelbon] aren’t two of them.” That makes me sad.
The Phillies lost 7-4, and Lee looked like a pitcher who hadn’t pitched in two months.
Video after the jump, via the CSN blogger who once boasted that he likes to avoid this sort of lowbrow humor and prefers to write for “smart” fans that he’d “want to talk Phillies with.” – fart noise – Continue reading
Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
As the MLB trade leaded draws nearer, all of the rumors that float around start to either gain some credence or be tossed aside. For the Phillies, according to Boston’s WEEI, that means Cole Hamels is probably staying put:
“According a major league source, the Phillies are currently showing no inclination to trade Cole Hamels.
Hamels has been the subject of rumors involving the Red Sox recently, with the Boston Globe suggesting the Red Sox might be viewing the lefty as a top-of-the-rotation replacement for Jon Lester. The 30 year old will be owed $90 million over the next four years, with a team option for 2019 worth $20 million.
It is believed that while the Red Sox had checked in on Hamels availability earlier in the season, there hasn’t been any recent discussions between the Sox and Phillies regarding the starter.”
The squashing of the Hamels rumors comes along with the report that the earlier report that the Dodgers were interested in Papelbon now looks to be untrue, and the Mariners – who were supposedly hot on Marlon Byrd - have moved on. Cliff Lee is still the subject of a decent number of rumors out there, but it’ll probably just be another week or so before those are debunked. So, just prepare yourselves to meet your 2015 Philadelphia Phillies… the same as your 2014 Philadelphia Phillies.
UPDATE: Jon Heyman:
The strong belief, based on talks so far with the Phillies, is that the team would much prefer to trade Cliff Lee than Cole Hamels.
But, as one rival GM said, “Cliff Lee isn’t pitching. So how can you make a deal for him today?”
That is a fair point, but Lee is expected back soon from an elbow issue that has sidelined him for a few weeks, and it’s possible he could pitch in two or three games that could amount to a showcase for the star left-hander.
No shit to all of that.
Jim Salisbury, CSN Philly:
Cliff Lee has a tender elbow. He required an MRI exam Tuesday in Philadelphia. Results were not immediately known.
“He’s battled some elbow tenderness for about three weeks,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said before Tuesday night’s game against the Marlins. “He’s been able to pitch through it. He felt a little more uncomfortable in his last couple of innings Sunday. He saw Dr. [Michael] Ciccotti and Dr. Ciccotti felt it was alarming enough to do an MRI. We’re awaiting the results.”
Lee’s fastball velocity has been down in recent starts. Amaro said the pitcher had recently been treated with anti-inflammatory medicine.
For real, God hates us. Only explanation I got left. Eagles go on improbable late-season run and show signs of being a contender in the NFC and lose a winnable home playoff game and then are forced to cut their star wide receiver for reasons that are unexplainable. Flyers go on a similar run and take the Rangers to the brink after their starting goalie misses the first three games of the series with a freak concussion… and lose. Sixers lose all winter and don’t get a top 2 pick. The Phillies– they suck, and now Cliff Lee could maybe possibly potentially be seriously hurt and his lone, unfortunate remaining value to the club, trade bait, could be in jeopardy. Anything else? Union goalie lose a foot or anything like that?
Side note: His velocity hasn’t really been down:
This worries me. Usually with mild injuries to stars the Phillies just declare it a “day-to-day” thing and then don’t let us know more until the player is out 6-to-8 weeks. With such a quick admittance of a strain and DL announcement, I fear the worst for Lee. I fear death.