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Cliff Lee cleared to begin rehab assignment on Sunday

Jul 2, 2014, 8:33 PM EST

cliff lee getty pose Getty Images

Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee threw 60 pitches in a three-inning simulated game on Tuesday afternoon and he woke up Wednesday morning without any abnormal physical issues. So he’s moving on to the next big step in his recovery from a left elbow strain.

MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that Lee has been cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment Sunday with the High-A Clearwater Threshers. This is just speculation, but the veteran southpaw will likely make a total of three rehab starts in the minors before rejoining the Philadelphia rotation shortly after the All-Star break.

Lee will be an attractive name around the July 31 trade deadline if he’s able to prove his health this month. The 35-year-old owns a stellar 2.83 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 728 strikeouts in 734 1/3 innings with the Phillies.

He is making a $25 million salary this season, owed another $25 million salary next season, and carries a $27.5 million vesting option (or $12.5 million buyout) for the 2016 campaign.

  1. captainwisdom8888 - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    As a Philly fan it’s been painful to watch what this team has turned into over the past few seasons, but the most disheartening thing of all is the fact that the Phillies are the highest paid team in the entirety of the league…with damn-near the worst record in the league.

    I think that’s a very clear sign that drastic changes need to be made…with haste.

    • greymares - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:25 PM

      Captain wisdom, so tell me what drastic changes would you make ? keep in mind you can’t trade Utley or Rollins they don’t want to go and don’t have to. Who is going to pay Howard’s contract so how much of that are you going to eat. Lee is owed a ton of money what are you getting for an injured starter making all that cash. What GM wants Brown, Revere, Mayberry ? What can you get for 37yr old Marlon Byrd, mediocre to poor back of the rotation starters Kendrick or Hernandez. That leaves the Ace Hammels, a very expensive Ruiz and an up start Cody Asche and Bastardo. so show me YOUR DRASTIC CHANGES.

  2. phillies816 - Jul 2, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    I agree. There is nothing to do but watch this get worse. This team is going to suck for about the next 5 years. Sad but true.

  3. captainwisdom8888 - Jul 2, 2014 at 11:25 PM

    At no point did I claim I have the answers to all this, because I don’t. The Phillies are caught between a rock and a hard place, and as much as I would like them to…drastic changes aren’t gonna happen overnight. The Phillies brass made their bed, so to speak, and now they have no choice but to lie in it. As a fan, all I can do is express my distaste for the way things have turned out.

    I’m very grateful that this group of guys brought a championship home to Philadelphia a few years back, and while others may be alright with continuously saying: “Well, at least we won it in 2008,” I’ll never be satisfied with hanging my hat on that one successful season.

    • toodrunktotastethischicken - Jul 3, 2014 at 2:27 AM

      2008 was a little more then “a few years back”. They had a successful run from 07-11′. Injuries, Amaro going all in with the trades, and holding onto players longer then he should have are what caused the downturn to this team. Get what you can for the likes of Burnett, Byrd, Bastardo, and Lee. If Crawford and Nola are what people think they can be, they have a few solid pieces a couple years away. Factor in a likely top 10 pick in next years draft and the future doesn’t look that terrible.

      • phillies816 - Jul 3, 2014 at 7:34 AM

        Seriously? Future doesn’t look too terrible? I hope you are joking or toodrunktothink. This team’s scouting is atrocious. This is the same group of idiots who made Dom Brown untouchable in trades. They suck at drafting and since most teams have a ton of money not as many quality players are making it to free agency so going that route isn’t really an option unless you want to overpay and you see how far that has gotten them. They need to fire Ruben Amaro Jr and EVERY scout they have and beg Mike Arbuckle to come back from KC to take the GM job he should have had in the first place and go from there.

    • blabidibla - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:35 AM

      Drastic changes, by their very definition, happen quickly.

      Lee should be traded, but let’s not forget he also has a restricted trade clause. They will have to eat serious money on veteran contracts to move players. They might have to beg for the privilege.

  4. kahunanc - Jul 3, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    .300 Monty and his puppet RAJ need to go and almost zero chance of that happening

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