Results tagged ‘ Cliff Lee ’

Lee Could Be Back Next Week

Cliff Lee could be back in the Phillies rotation early next week.

Today he threw his first bullpen session since straining his left oblique April 18 in San Francisco. Lee reported no pain. He said if he feels fine tomorrow, he is scheduled to throw a second bullpen session Saturday. Assuming that goes well, he could pitch for the Phillies a few days later at Citizens Bank Park.

“I feel good about it,” Lee said. “If things go well, it’s one more bullpen and then the game. That’s the plan for now, but that’s all flexible.”

Lee said he has been pain-free recently.

“It did linger a little bit,” he said. “But it’s slowly gotten better. But the last two days have been drastically better than the four or five days before that. It just kind of plateaud and stayed the same. But the last two has been good.”

Asked if it is safe to say the problem is gone, Lee said, “Everything throw, I didn’t feel anything. There are a couple exercises I do where I can barely feel it, but compared to how it was before it’s pretty safe to say it’s on its way to being gone.”

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Domonic Brown strained his left hamstring today in Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He is day to day.

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Right-hander David Herndon has a strained pronator tendon. He is not throwing for three weeks.

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The guys at Phillies Nation TV had me on this week to talk about The Rotation. Check it out!

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • May 10: Tredyfrrin Public Library in Stafford, PA, 7:30 p.m.
  • June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.has a strained pronator tendon. He is not throwing for three weeks.

Pence: ‘I’m Letting It Eat’

Hunter Pence had a MRI exam this morning on his left shoulder.

He got good news. He has a bruised rotator cuff. There is no structural damage.

Pence, who is in the lineup for tonight’s game, said he woke up this morning feeling much better. He took the MRI and later arrived at Chase Field, where he told the Phillies he thought he could play. He took some swings in the cage with hitting coach Greg Gross and head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan watching. They determined he could play.

“When I started swinging, I’m letting it eat,” Pence said. “I’m ready to go.”

“That’s good,” Charlie Manuel said. “Then I hope it eats a lot then.”

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Pick up or Shake Up?

“Sometimes, there’s just no answers. We’re in that area right now where I don’t have any answers.” – Jimmy Rollins.

The Phillies came within one out from suffering their second shutout loss in four games (and their third shutout loss in eight games) in last night’s 5-1 loss to the Padres. After today’s series finale against the Padres, the Phillies play three games against the Diamondbacks in Phoenix and four games against the Cubs at home before hitting the road for six games against Atlanta and Washington.

The Phillies are in the middle of a stretch of 20 games in 21 days with 16 of those games on the road.

They are 7-8 this season, while the first-place Nationals are 12-4 and the second-place Braves are 10-5.

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Wasted

Cliff Lee’s teammates expressed their frustrations and condolences tonight at AT&T Park.

He deserved better a fate.

He pitched 10 scoreless innings in a 1-0 loss to the Giants in 11 innings. Lee became the first pitcher to pitch 10 innings in a game since Aaron Harang and Roy Halladay in 2007, the first pitcher to pitch 10 scoreless innings since Mark Mulder in 2005 and the first Phillies pitcher to pitch 10 innings since Terry Mulholland in 1993.

But Lee also became the first pitcher to pitch 10 scoreless innings in a losing effort since Brett Saberhagen’s Mets lost to San Diego in 1994.

“He battled,” Jim Thome said about Lee. “He battled.”

Thome sighed deeply before finishing his thought.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t help him out,” he said.

A few things on the night:

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Rollins Talks Thole Blunder

Jimmy Rollins could not believe his eyes.

In the top of the second inning in last night’s 5-2 loss to the Mets, R.A. Dickey executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance Josh Thole to second base with one out. Phillies first baseman Jim Thome tagged Dickey about halfway up the first-base line and nonchalantly tossed the ball back to Cliff Lee, who believed like everybody else at Citizens Bank Park the play had ended.

In fact, Rollins motioned for Thole that he did not need to slide as he reached second base, which is something he has done since he reached the big leagues whenever there is no play at the base.

“Nice hit,” Thole told Rollins as he reached second, referring to Rollins’ first-inning double.

“Thanks,” Rollins replied.

Then Thole inexplicably turned around and walked back to first base.

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Baby, You’re (Gonna Be) A Rich Man

So we know Cole Hamels will be signing at least a five-year, $112.5 million contract.

The Giants and Matt Cain agreed to those terms yesterday, and I believe most everybody would agree Hamels is a better pitcher than Cain. Hamels is 74-54 with a 3.39 ERA since 2006, pitching half his games in cozy Citizens Bank Park. Cain is 67-72 with a 3.39 ERA since 2006, pitching half his games at canyon-esque AT&T Park. Hamels has more strikeouts (1,091 to 1,055), a better strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.74 to 2.32) and WHIP (1.14 to 1.21) in that span. He is at the top of most pitching categories in the National League since he made his big-league debut. Cain is up there with him, but Hamels is usually just a bit better.

So if Cain got that, Hamels gets what?

I wonder if the Phillies said today, “How about Cliff Lee money?” if Hamels takes it.

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Doc Gets Opening Day, Hamels Gets Home Opener

We asked nicely today, so Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee revealed his rotation to open the 2012 season:

  • April 5 in Pittsburgh: Roy Halladay
  • April 7 in Pittsburgh: Cliff Lee
  • April 8 in Pittsburgh: Vance Worley
  • April 9 vs. Miami: Cole Hamels

Dubee explained.

“Cole has had more experience,” said Dubee, asked why Hamels gets the home opener. “Hell, he’s pitched in the World Series. The big flag is out there. Not that Vance can’t handle it, but it’s a little bit of a hectic day. Any of our guys deserve to pitch the home opener or the opener of the season. This way it lines up where Cole gets it. It splits our lefties. It doesn’t put Vance in that situation. Cole is more accustomed to pitching with a lot of hoopla around.”

It is unclear when Joe Blanton would pitch, but because of two off days between the season opener April 5 and the fifth game of the season April 11, it is likely Halladay pitches April 11.

“I don’t think we’re going to let Doc sit around for seven or eight days,” Dubee said. “That’s too much.”

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!
Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • April 2: Barnes & Noble in Plymouth Meeting, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 3: Chester County Book Company in West Chester, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.

Nats’ Top 3 over Doc, Cliff and Cole? Whatever

The Nationals are trying their best to build a rivalry with the Phillies in the National League East.

It started with their Take Back the Park campaign, designed to make tickets less accessible to Phillies fans for the Phillies-Nationals series May 4-6 at Nationals Park. But then Nationals manager Davey Johnson told The Washington Post the other day he would take Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann and the rest of his rotation over Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels and the rest of the Phillies’ rotation, in part because of their youth and potential.

“Their top three versus our top three, stuff-wise, we match up as good,” Johnson told the Post.

“I guess that’s his opinion,” Rich Dubee said.

Asked what he thought about Johnson’s comments, Lee said, “He should (take them) because that’s his only option. It’s what he’s got to do.”

In other words, whatever.

Lee said he wouldn’t compare Halladay, Hamels and himself to any other pitchers on any team in baseball.

“I’m not trying to compare myself to anybody,” Lee said. “There’s nothing good that’s going to come out of that. I know we’re proven and we’ve shown what we can do, and if we’re healthy we stack up pretty good against anyone. I’m not going to sit here and try to create something out of nothing because to me really that’s nothing.”

Asked about the Take Back the Park campaign, Lee said, “That’s another nothing thing for me. Whatever. They should try to get more fans to come out and support them. They should expect a lot out of their team. It’s normal stuff. He should think his pitchers are better than anyone. He should think all his position players are better than anyone else. He should think he’s got the best bullpen. If he doesn’t, what’s he thinking?”

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!
Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • March 19: Bright House Field in Clearwater, FL, TBA
  • April 2: Barnes & Noble in Plymouth Meeting, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 3: Chester County Book Company in West Chester, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.

Lee Relates to Hamels

Cliff Lee is one of the few people in the world who can truly relate to Cole Hamels‘ upcoming free agency.

He spoke about that today, as Hamels’ agent is in town talking to the Phillies about an extension. The sides are not close and an agreement is not expected before the end of spring training, if one happens at all. These talks will be difficult. Why? Because Hamels’ agent would not be doing his job if he were not trying to get Hamels a contract worth more than $100 million, and the Phillies already have tons of money committed over the next several seasons. Looking at things from the outside and not knowing how much money the Phillies have to spend, it would seem difficult to not only meet the demands of Hamels, but Shane Victorino, who becomes a free agent following this season, and Hunter Pence, who becomes a free agent following 2013.

Can they keep all of them? It will be very, very difficult.

The Phillies already have $109.85 million committed to eight players next season: Lee ($25 million), Roy Halladay ($20 million), Ryan Howard ($20 million), Chase Utley ($15 million), Jonathan Papelbon ($13 million), Jimmy Rollins ($11 million), Kyle Kendrick ($4.5 million) and Laynce Nix ($1.35 million). And that’s not counting club options for Carlos Ruiz, etc. They have $94 million committed to Lee, Halladay, Howard, Papelbon and Rollins in 2014; and $74 million committed to Lee, Howard, Papelbon and Rollins in 2015.

Let’s say Hamels wants $20 million per season from the Phillies. Let’s say Victorino wants $12 million. Let’s say Pence wants $15 million. That’s $47 million for the three (and that’s probably a low figure, if you think about what they could get if they hit the open market). That puts the Phillies’ 2014 payroll at $141 million for just seven players. So what? Well, none of those players are a catcher, second baseman or third baseman. There are bullpen jobs, bench jobs and possibly a starting pitcher or two to find, too. I’m not saying the Phillies will not resign Hamels, but it will not be easy. And it might mean they have to lose talented players elsewhere, something Victorino acknowledged recently.

Stay tuned …

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!

Now Available: The Rotation

Just a heads up: The Rotation is now available in Delaware Valley bookstores! So if you’re out and about and need a good book before heading to Clearwater (or you just need a book to get your ready for the baseball season), check it out. It’s also available on Amazon.com!

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