They also lost starting pitcher Cliff Lee to an elbow injury, mostly likely for the rest of the season. Lee had just returned from the disabled list last week after an elbow strain sidelined him for nine weeks. If Lee proved himself to be healthy, he was considered a candidate for an August trade (he'd have to clear waivers before the Phillies could deal him).
But his unfortunate Thursday night assured that won't happen. Lee had retired eight of nine batters he faced, before re-aggravating his elbow injury in the third inning. He knew right away something was wrong and was overrun with emotion. From Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Cliff Lee threw an 85-m.p.h. cutter, yelled an expletive, and waved his arms in disgust. That is how it ended.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) August 1, 2014
Lee looked as if he might cry in the dugout. Incredible emotion from a man who never shows it.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) August 1, 2014
Lee, 35 and a 13-year veteran, was placed on the disabled list immediately following the game. He is scheduled to get an MRI on his elbow, but veteran pitchers often know what's wrong with them and how serious it is the minute they feel the pain in their arms.
Cliff Lee, on whether he threw his last pitch of 2014 tonight: “That’s probably the case.” MRI scheduled.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) August 1, 2014
The Phillies owe Lee $25 million for next season. He has a $27.5 million vesting option for 2016 that the club can buy out for $12.5 million. If Lee needs elbow surgery, there's a good chance he'll be in line to collect $37.5 million and not throw another pitch for the Phillies.
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