Cliff Lee is hoping that the third time for rehab is a charm; more likely, it will be three strikes and he is out. Lee has had a torn common flexor tendon since last May, although prior reports on that called it a “strain,” which I am guessing was never the case. Tears generally do not heal themselves; it can happen, but it is highly unlikely, especially on the elbow. So this third attempt at rehab is probably a waste of time and energy.
I feel bad for Lee. He obviously wants to pitch again, but then why did he not have the surgery in the first place? He at least could have been ready for this year. Now, that chance is gone. Of course, no one wants to have surgery, so I understand to some extent. I guess there is no right or wrong answer, but personally, I’d have had it fixed last year.
I was there for Lee’s first pitch as a Phillie on 7/31/09 in San Francisco. And now it looks like I may have seen his last pitch. I suppose a miracle could occur, but I am not holding my breath. It is a very sad day. Not that I expect the Phillies to do very well this year, but at least Lee was entertaining to watch. He gave fans something to look forward to on an otherwise bland and rebuilding team.
So who is left to pitch besides Cole Hamels and Jerome Williams? The newly signed Aaron Harang has back issues, so I am not optimistic about him. And Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is looking like a $12 million dollar bust. He has a nice fastball, but lacks control. Speed is of no use if he doesn’t know how to use it. I am rooting for Chad Billingsley to make the rotation in late April, but coming off two elbow surgeries, there is no telling what will happen. There are a lot of young arms like David Buchanan and Jonathan Pettibone who may make the cut.
Now we just wait and see. In the meantime, I wish Cliff Lee the best and hope he will get his miracle.