Cliff Lee scheduled to debut next Thursday


Returning to game action for the first time since July 31, 2014, Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee will make his spring debut next Thursday.

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Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee finished last season on the disabled list after another issue with a flexor pronator strain in his elbow. His last game action was on July 31st of last year and he only pitched 2.2 innings before being pulled due to elbow discomfort. The flexor pronator strain had sidelined him once already that year in May. He ended up only pitching for two and a half months that year and his return numbers in July were significantly worse than his May and April. He had a 6.00 ERA for three games in July, while having a 3.00 for four games in May and 1.75 over five games in April.

Lee never returned after hitting the DL again in July, but will be making his spring training debut next Thursday for the Phillies, according to a report by Hard Ball Talk. Phillies pitching coach Bob McClure said Lee is healthy and ready to go.

"“Cliff is right on. He’s throwing well. He feels good. So he’s right on schedule,” McClure said via CSN Philly."

Lee is expected to pitch about two innings, which is pretty standard for starters in spring training. He’ll likely go more innings as the spring goes on in advance of the start of the MLB regular season. It seems unlikely that a good spring from Lee would be enough to convince teams to trade for the 36 year old starter. However, he was one of the names thrown around at the deadline last year and he could end up being moved early in the season if he starts well.

The Phillies owe Lee $25 million for this season and either $27.5 million or a $12 million buyout for the 2016 season.

The other projected spring debuts for the Phillies rotation are Paul Clemons on Sunday afternoon against the University of Tamapa, Jerome Williams against the Yankees on Tuesday, Aaron Harang on Wednesday against the Yankees and Cole Hamels against the Yanks on Friday.

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