Cliff Lee hasn’t picked up a baseball since being placed on the DL, and Mike Adams is not close to a return after an MRI exam on his ailing shoulder.
No, the news on the Phillies’ injuries isn’t exactly encouraging, but it’s not discouraging either. According to manager Ryne Sandberg, Lee is “progressing” from an elbow injury, though maybe not enough to pick up a ball this week.
A work horse, lee has pitched at least 200 innings in each of the last six seasons and in eight of the last nine.
“This is the first time he’s gone through something like this other than some neck and back issues, so it’s all new to him,” Sandberg said before Tuesday night’s game against the Padres. “In that area it’s necessary to get pain free before he starts anything. The sensation and discomfort lingered a little bit longer.”
While Lee is relatively pain free, Adams is at least 10 days away from throwing. He will get a cortisone shot this week, which should relieve the inflammation. Coming off of a season marred by injury that led to shoulder surgery, Adams was relieved the MRI result didn’t show damage.
“The rotator cuff looked all right. That's what I was really worried about,” Adams said. “My rotator was really banged up last year. That's what led to the whole surgery. The results came back a lot better than we were expecting. There is a little bit going on with the labrum. There is a little bit of fraying going on. We'll do an injection later this week to get it to calm down. We'll try to strengthen it back up and get on a throwing program.”
As for relief for the bullpen, expect right-hander Justin De Fratus to take on some work for the seventh and eighth innings.
“He could be a guy in that situation. He’s done a nice job since coming back,” Sandberg said. “Really, really good improvement with his fastball and that makes his slider much better and he’s pitched well, so he’s a candidate for that spot for right-handers.”
Don’t expect the recently called up flame thrower Ken Giles to take over late-game situations just yet. The righty joined the Phillies for Sunday’s game and hasn’t yet made his big league debut. Considering the 24 games Giles appeared in at Reading and Lehigh Valley are his first bunch past Single A, he won’t be thrown into the fire.
“First get his feet wet, let him get his feet underneath him with some spots, which makes sense for him, preferably earlier in the game somewhere,” Sandberg said.
Meanwhile, third baseman Cody Asche has been playing in simulated games as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Sandberg says Asche will likely go out on a rehab assignment on Friday.