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Cliff Lee is “very close to picking up a ball”

Jun 10, 2014, 7:18 PM EDT

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Finally a dose of hope for injured ace Cliff Lee

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg told Matt Gelb at the Philadelphia Inquirer on Tuesday evening that the left-hander is nearly over the discomfort in his pitching elbow and “very close to picking up a ball.”

Lee has been on the disabled list since May 19 because of a left elbow strain and there is still no timetable for his return to Philly’s active roster. If he makes it back before the July 31 trade deadline, he is sure to be a popular target for contending teams.

The 35-year-old owns a spectacular 2.83 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 8.9 K/9 in 734 1/3 innings since joining Philadelphia prior to the start of the 2011 campaign. He is earning a $25 million salary this season and owed $25 million in 2015 (with a $12.5 million buyout on a $27.5 million vesting option for 2016).

  1. jpm557 - Jun 10, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    How far away is this baseball?

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 10, 2014 at 7:52 PM

      Jeter has it.

    • renaado - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:43 PM

      It’s in the bleachers…

  2. ochospantalones - Jun 10, 2014 at 7:29 PM

    I sure am glad they had him throw 128 pitches in a complete game loss in his 4th start of the year on a cold night in April. That was totally worth it.

  3. threefeetaway - Jun 10, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    I can pick up a ball…where’s my contract?

    • phillies816 - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:21 PM

      Are you at least 33 with very little baseball left in you? If not the Phillies aren’t interested

      • rbj1 - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:52 PM

        I’m 49 with no baseball in me. I’ll sign for league minimum.

  4. chacochicken - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    But Doc, will he ever walk again?

  5. johnnysoda - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    I would hope he would be able to pick up a baseball. If he couldn’t, then he has bigger problems to worry about.

  6. jrbdmb - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg told Matt Gelb at the Philadelphia Inquirer on Tuesday evening that the left-hander is nearly over the discomfort in his pitching elbow and “very close to picking up a ball … and within another month or so he may actually throw it.”

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