MIAMI – Cliff Lee has been cleared to make a minor-league rehabilitation start Sunday. He will pitch at Brevard County, Fla., for the Single A Clearwater Threshers.
Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said Lee could throw up to 75 pitches. It will be his first competitive action since going on the disabled list with a strained elbow May 20. It is not clear whether Lee will require one or two rehab starts.
“That will be a judgment we’ll make after we see how he looks and feels Sunday,” Sandberg said.
If Lee needs a second rehab start, he will not return to the rotation until after the all-star break.
Lee threw a 60-pitch simulated game Tuesday afternoon at Marlins Park. He threw all his pitches at maximum effort.
The pitcher was pleased with the way his arm felt during Tuesday’s workout.
“It feels fine,” he said. “I’m on pace. A couple of rehab games and I should be back.”
Lee could be a hot commodity at the July 31 trade deadline, but will have to prove himself completely healthy for another team to take on his salary (he is guaranteed $37.5 million after this season) and give up players. If Lee comes back before the all-star break, he could make four starts before the deadline. If he comes back after the break, he will make three starts before the deadline.