Cliff Lee ready to return to Phils, says changes must happen

Cliff Lee
Cliff Lee could be in the midst of his final career month as a Phillie.
Credit: Getty Images

Cliff Lee is a competitive guy, and one who hates to sit on the sidelines.

So after making his final rehab start, a 4.2 inning stint in Clearwater that was less than impressive (eight hits and eight runs), Lee is slated to rejoin the Phillies in Atlanta this weekend.

He is expected to make a handful of starts for the Phillies before the July 31 trade deadline.

With the deadline looming and Lee’s name among many rumored to be headed out the door in a possible fire sale, the lefty weighed in on the future of the team and his future with them.

“Whether it’s guys changing their approach or expectations or changing their scenery altogether, something has to change,” Lee told the Inquirer’s Bob Brookover. “It’s up to us individually if we’re going to change our approach, our work ethic or if you’re willing to accept being traded. A lot of us don’t have a 100 percent say on that, but there are a few guys who have full no-trade rights who have to make that decision. Each individual has a right to view it however they want.”

Lee is making his second stay in red pinstripes but could be involved in a fourth trade to or from the Phillies.

He has been a consistent producer on the field. All Ruben Amaro and company can do is hope he provides a worthwhile return on the trade market.

During his career in Philadelphia, Lee twice was in the top six for Cy Young voting (third in 2011, sixth in 2013). Both years he was also an All Star selection for the Phillies.

So far this season in 10 starts, Lee has a 4-4 record with a 3.18 ERA.

Lee has posted very impressive numbers during parts of five seasons with the Phillies. He has a 48-33 record with a 2.89 ERA. He also has 12 complete games with eight shutouts as a Phillie.

Lee had two incredible months as a Phillie in 2011. He went 5-0 in June and in August, and posted ERA’s of 0.21 and 0.45 respectively.

Unfortunately, he has been unable to win a title with the team.

“I feel I signed with Philadelphia to come here and win a championship and that’s what I want to do,” Lee said. “That’s where my focus is and that’s what every guy’s focus on the team should be. You should focus on winning every game to get to the postseason and win the World Series. That’s where my focus is going to stay.”


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