Phillies Lose Lee During Crucial Stretch – Phillies Nation
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Phillies Lose Lee During Crucial Stretch

While you were somewhat upset about the way the ping-pong balls fell for the Sixers last night (if you’re a Sixers fan), then perhaps you were unaware of what was going on across the way. Cliff Lee was hitting the DL with an elbow strain. This is a major blow, no matter how you spin it.

Sure, it could have been bad enough to require Tommy John surgery, but it’s far more mild than that. Although that bullet has been dodged, there are several reasons why this is a killer.

One, the Phillies have to find someone to fill in that rotation spot every fifth day. Equaling, or even coming close to, the production Lee gives you is absolutely impossible. If he misses a month, that means up to six starts without their best pitcher. And those are possibly wins they can’t afford to lose.

Two, the Phillies are going through a very tough stretch on the schedule where they have just two days off between now and the All-Star break in July. Their health has not been an issue to this point and now is no time for that to start.

Three, the Phillies could possibly lose some trade value on Lee if this lingers past a month or so. My co-host on 97.5 the Fanatic, Jayson Stark, told me that Cliff Lee is still thought of highly around the league by scouts and decision makers. A blemish on an otherwise clean resume, especially at this point in his career at age 35, will no doubt decrease the return in which the Phillies would hope to receive.

So, sure, the alternative would have been devastating. However, this ain’t that good either.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. TimC

    May 21, 2014 at 10:17 am

    My pick would be David Buchanan to make his debut and give a try in providing quality starts. He’s pitched well overall at AAA and especially with a bunch of home games over the 20 game stretch, he will have that safety blanket of pitching at home.

    How much longer do we have to wait for Ken Giles to make it to the MLB level? We are struggling for decent right-handed relief options, and this kid is mowing down the minors. A 96+ mph fastball is desperately needed from the right side of our bullpen.

    • schmenkman

      May 21, 2014 at 10:24 am

      Giles has struck out 4 and walked 5 in 6 innings since moving up to AAA. I would bet that as soon as he gets those walks under control again (like he did in AA), he’ll be called up.

  2. Jael

    May 21, 2014 at 11:06 am

    I trade brown thing cliff lee .
    u have to look on this there no one is good as cliff lee cole just coming back .Aj Burnett he ok kyle need to pk it up asp .

    In all who will be a good trade on the phillies .
    for me brown or ben Revere
    if I was a GM I keep cliff lee for two years

    • MP

      May 21, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      ^ Exactly.

  3. Ken Bland

    May 21, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    “Jayon Stark, told me that Cliff Lee is still thought of highly around the league by scouts and “decision makers. A blemish on an otherwise clean resume, especially at this point in his career at age 35, will no doubt decrease the return in which the Phillies would hope to receive”.

    while a trade is down the road yet, and the point about scouts and execs is probably quite true, it’s important to remember that’s just one aspect of a potential deal in this day and age.

    Additionally, there’s supply and demand, and while I won’t dive too deep into this, a couple names that might be movable include David Price and Mark Buehrle. In other words, Cliff, forgetting some factors like age and possible health holdbacks might not be as hot a topic as when he Phils first got him from Cleveland.

    Secondly, scouts likely don’t factor in contractual obligation. Execs do, but it’s one thing commenting on him as a pitcher, another weighing the gun to your head deadline against picking up a minimum 50 mil obligation.

    So we’ll see where it goes starting with health. Onliest expectation I have now is it won’t surprise me if the Amaro agitators find it easy to rip him for what he gets in return if Cliff is dealt. There’s a price of talent dropoff for a club picking up Lee’s tab, even though he obviously could be a high plus talent. I’m not so sure the Phils will pick up eons of money, but that’s a variable factor, too.

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