Only 31 pitches into his outing, Philadelphia Phillies star, Cliff Lee, left the game from what initially appeared to be an elbow injury.
The Phillies were only three innings deep with the Washington Nationals when Lee exited. Immediately afterwards, Philadelphia went four runs up and might break even on the night. A win despite losing a mainstay of the pitching staff is somewhat of a mixed thing.
Lee has been part of some trade talks of late, however this obviously will drop his stock. Even if it doesn’t end up being a massive injury, he’s damaged goods for at least a few weeks until he has a couple more outings. In the worst-case scenario, he’s out for the season, or longer. Of course, nobody will know the full extent of his injury until he’s in front of a doctor. It could be nothing, but in the fast pace of the trades all day Thursday, this is a blow to the Phillies.
By the time anything comes out, Lee is old news. Teams that were interested will have moved on to less injured players to fill their holes. The Phillies seem to be stuck with Lee for at least one more season, or until they can sucker someone into trading for an injured pitcher. Heading into the postseason, nobody has time for a project like a busted-up starter. The contenders need talent and they need it to be reliable. Lee might have just lost his claim to that second part.
Only time will tell, and as more details come out, it will obviously become clearer. Philadelphia however, needs to be picking up some phones because their world just changed.