Cliff Lee’s Appearance on the DL Cuts 2 Ways for Philadelphia Phillies
All injuries are not created equal and the Philadelphia Phillies will no doubt learn that hard lesson over the next few weeks.
Philadelphia Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. probably will not say this even privately, but he’s got to have two plans for the organization if he’s going to earn his pay this season.
Cliff Lee’s most recent appearance on the DL for an elbow strain has got to scrap both plans.
Plan A had to be if the Phillies somehow played well enough through the All-Star break to be in the race, either a couple of games ahead or a couple of games behind in the NL East, they would add the necessary pieces to contend by the trade deadline. Plan B had to include liquidating the team’s few valuable assets in order to do a complete rebuild.
Lee’s injury is doubly hurtful in any business model going forward because he would have been the one asset the team had to bring two or three high-quality pieces in which to start the rebuild had this thing gone south. Lee’s injury — most experts optimistically agree he will be out at least a month — has to cause any team willing to part with prospects pause. Without Lee, too, any hopes the Phillies had of executing Plan A have to be dashed.
After all, without Lee, the Phillies are relying on a staff that includes an underachieving Cole Hamels as a No. 2 starter and a guy in No. 4 starter Kyle Kendrick, who has not won a game since last September. Throw in a guy pitching with a sports hernia, A.J. Burnett at No. 3, and what was once considered a strength of the team has to be a weakness.
With Plans A and B in the wastebasket, Amaro will now have to draw up a Plan C and any fans with suggestions might be wise to send them to Citizens Bank Park because Amaro has to be scratching his head over that one right now.