Injuries can cripple any team at any point during the season. It is only Spring Training and there are already teams getting hit hard by the injury bug. One of those teams is the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Phillies were injury-riddled last season, and it looks like those injuries will continue into 2015. Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee has a tear in his flexor tendon in his throwing (left) elbow. MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki said the Phillies are “not terribly optimistic” about Lee being able to recover from this injury. Lee is going to try to throw despite the injury, but he’s also said that he is not going to throw through pain.
Lee has gone to seek a second opinion from surgeon Dr. James Andrew. He initially experienced some discomfort after throwing two innings in his Spring Training debut last week. If Lee cannot continue to pitch through this injury, he would require surgery, which would require a 6-8 month recovery period. Cliff Lee is 36 years old, and if he cannot continue to pitch through this injury, his career may be over.
Lee had strained his flexor tendon last year, which limited him to pitching in only 13 games. He went 4-5 with a 3.65 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 81.1 innings. This strain has led to this slight tear in his flexor tendon.
Lee’s fantasy value coming into 2015 was not as high as in previous years. He ranked 194 on FantasyPros’ cheat sheet. Lee has been a dominant fantasy player in the past, but since he has been in Philadelphia he has not had the same fantasy numbers. He was probably not one of your top draft picks, but he brought the potential of being solid starting pitcher.
In my opinion, Lee will end up trying to pitch through his injury, but I do not think he will be able to overcome the ailment. With that being said, you will need to find a replacement for Lee. Aaron Harang is the current No. 3 starter for the Phillies, but Harang will move into the No. 2 spot in the rotation if Lee does go down for the season. Even so, you can likely find better options than Harang on the waiver wire.