The 2014 season simply did not go as planned for Cliff Lee and the Philadelphia Phillies. In search of a silver lining, the two sides can at least agree that they got good news on Thursday.
An MRI on Lee’s ailing pitching elbow showed no need for surgery, meaning that the veteran lefty will just have to wait and rest up to hopefully be ready for the start of the 2015 season. According to Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly:
An MRI on Lee’s elbow earlier this week showed a Grade 2 strain of the flexor-pronator tendon. An extended period of rest has been recommended. Lee is expected to begin some light throwing in the fall and is expected to be ready for spring training.
Lee had struggled minimally, if at all, with arm issues in the past in his career. This injury was an unfortunate surprise, then, as it forced the Phillies to place Lee on the disabled list twice this season.
Besides serving to derail any hopes of success with the Phillies, the primary problem with this injury was the fact that it sapped any trade value for Lee. A deal by the July 31st deadline was improbable but possible, and it certainly would have been something for the front office to consider given the clear need to rebuild. Furthermore, a waivers trade in August might have seemed downright likely given Lee’s gaudy contract.
Unfortunately his health prevented both possibilities, so now both parties will dust off this unfortunate season and look for a fresh start in 2015.