The team announced yesterday that the 2008 AL Cy Young winner strained his left oblique muscle. Ironically, the injury occurred on a pitch during the 10th inning, according to GM Ruben Amaro Jr:
He actually did it on a pitch in the 10th when he felt something and it grabbed him on his left side,” Amaro said. “He was sore the next day. It has improved each day, but we’re being very cautious with this. There’s no reason for him to completely blow it out. It’s an injury that if he really pulls it, we could lose him for a long time. We’ll be cautious with him, shut him down, and get him right. Hopefully he only misses a couple of starts.
Lee has been excellent for the most part this year, posting an 0-1 record with a 1.96 ERA and 16 strikeouts. He would be 2-1 or 2-0 this season, except that he’s only gotten three runs of support in three starts. He will be out until May 4th, which means he’ll most likely miss two scheduled starts.
Kyle Kendrick, who went 8-6 with a 3.22 ERA in 2011, will take Lee’s spot in the rotation. The Phillies called up left-handed reliever Joe Savery from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, who went 5-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 25 minor league appearances last season.
This loss could be very costly for a Phillies team already missing a chunk of their lineup in Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. The offense has been extremely listless early on, ranking 15th out of 16 NL squads in runs scored. Having a consistently excellent pitching staff is key with this inconsistent of an offense, which means the Phils will miss Lee dearly in the upcoming weeks.
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