The Philadelphia Phillies are hanging around in the crowded National League East, but looming news concerning starting pitcher Cliff Lee‘s elbow could soon change that.    

CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury and the Philly Inquirer‘s Matt Gelb provide the details: 

CSN’s Jim Salisbury announced Tuesday evening that Lee will go on the disabled list:

We obviously won’t be able to know anything for sure until the MRI results are in, but whenever you have “elbow discomfort” and “ace pitcher” in the same train of thought, there is potential for a devastating blow.

In his 13th season in the bigs, Lee’s numbers have been subpar compared to the last six seasons. Still, Lee at his worst is something most pitchers would gladly accept—3.18 ERA, 1.279 WHIP and 2.63 FIP, per Moreover, while he’s been hit a little harder than usual, his 6.78 strikeout-to-walk ratio is still sparkling. 

Cole Hamels has been dominant over his last two trips to the bump, while A.J. Burnett and Kyle Kendrick have enjoyed solid seasons, so the Phils aren’t completely bare in the starting rotation. Still, a significant injury to their ace would be potentially calamitous. 

As Rotoworld’s Drew Silva noted, the potential affect goes beyond just on-the-diamond results, too:

Losing a stud so shortly after Jose Fernandez’s injury would also serve as yet another blow to baseball in general, so hopefully the MRI produces encouraging results. 

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