A few weeks before left-hander Cliff Lee reported to spring training, he notified the Philadelphia Phillies that he had soreness under his left armpit, and after examination by team physician Michael Ciccotti it was determined he had a mild strain.
Lee has a long history of abdominal problems, but general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. insisted Sunday night that this latest injury was not related.
“This is nothing to do with what he used to have,” Amaro said.
The Phillies did proceed with caution during Lee’s first session off a mound in spring training Tuesday, and he also threw less than his pitching peers Thursday.
“He’s 100 percent,” Amaro said. “He told us about it and I was glad that he did. We shut him down for a week (in January) and now he’s right back on time. We’re probably being a little cautious with him, but he feels great now and he should be fine.”
Twice in Lee’s career he has opened the season on the disabled list because of abdominal strains, including last season with the Seattle Mariners, when he did not make his initial start until April 30.
Lee did not make his first start in 2007 with Cleveland until May 3 because of an abdominal injury.
He first experienced abdominal problems during the 2003 season, when he pitched at four different levels, including the major leagues, with the Indians.
Lee, after being traded from Seattle to Texas last season, missed one September start because of back soreness.
YOUNG SAYS HE’S OK
Michael Young had a message for his teammates before the American League champion Texas Rangers held their first full-squad workout Sunday and he took grounders at second base for the first time in several years.
“He said he wasn’t going to be a distraction. That was it,” manager Ron Washington said, relaying what Young said during a scheduled team meeting before the workout.
Young had requested a trade last month, but with no deal done reported to camp on time Saturday and said he was focused on getting ready for the season.
He said the offseason drama wouldn’t affect his preparations for the season and a new role with the team.
Andrew N. “Drew” Baur, a member of the St. Louis Cardinals’ ownership group, has died. He was 66. The team said he died Sunday morning. A cause of death was not given. The local bank executive helped organize the original ownership group that bought the Cardinals from Anheuser-Busch in 1996. A lifelong Cardinals fan and native of St. Louis, Baur most recently served as chairman of Southwest Bank of St. Louis. The Kansas City Royals have agreed to one-year deals with Mike Aviles and Alcides Escobar, the team’s projected starters at third base and shortstop. The team announced the deals without providing financial terms.