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Cliff Lee diagnosed with strained elbow, pitched through pain for several weeks

May 21, 2014, 11:03 AM EST

Cliff Lee AP

In what qualifies as relatively good news considering they sent him for MRI exam, the Phillies have placed left-hander Cliff Lee on the disabled list with a flexor strain of his elbow.

Lee has been his usual fantastic self this season with a 3.18 ERA and 61/9 K/BB ratio in 68 innings, but Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that he’s been pitching through a flexor pronator strain for three weeks. During that time Lee has thrown 106, 100, 114, and 116 pitches and going back slightly further he tossed a season-high 128 pitches against the Braves on April 16.

For now the Phillies are saying they hope to potentially have Lee back when he’s first eligible to return in 15 days–general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. called the injury “pretty mild”–but obviously that’s far from a given at this point. Phillies fans can at least stop holding their collective breath for a while, though.

  1. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 21, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    The first MRI is a liar. We have seen that over and over.

    • gothapotamus90210 - May 21, 2014 at 11:18 AM

      Sounds like most first wives.

  2. toodrunktotastethischicken - May 21, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    Now this is what I don’t get. The FO and medical staff has known for weeks about pain in his elbow yet kept throwing him out there possibly further damaging it. It happened last year with Ryan Howard who ended up with a torn meniscus.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 21, 2014 at 11:47 AM

      The Phillies medical staff rubbed a little dirt on it after each start, so it is not like he wasn’t getting treatment.

    • chadjones27 - May 21, 2014 at 11:50 AM

      From what I’ve heard, Lee didn’t really complain about it that much and kept it to himself mostly. Pitchers get elbow soreness every now and again, you can’t MRI every “ouchy.”
      Now, if Lee had spoken up and thought it was a legitimate concern and the Phillies chose to keep him out there anyway, well, then I wag my finger at you, Phillies. For shame.

    • xmatt0926x - May 21, 2014 at 12:49 PM

      Agree with toodrunk. The story I read mentioned that the team was told about his elbow a month ago. I’m sure pitchers have aches and pains in their arms all season but why not just check it out then? He’s your $25 million ace. Maybe taking a start or two off then means he doesn’t have to miss 4 or 5 now.

      Again, I understand you can’t make a huge deal about every little ache or pain, but if the team knew about this a month ago then that means that Lee went out of his way to tell someone about it. When a quiet guy like Lee goes out of his way to say something is hurting, it should be taken seriously.

  3. nsstlfan - May 21, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    Here comes TJ surgery before he gets off the DL

  4. deathmonkey41 - May 22, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    I wonder if he hurt it chewing gum like a giant douche.

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