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February 24, 2010 at 11:33 AM

Cliff Lee throws more pitches than expected during bullpen session, says he felt good

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Cliff Lee went into this morning’s bullpen session hoping to throw about 35 pitches. He wound up throwing between 40 and 50 — focusing mainly on locating his fastball, but also mixing in breaking balls as well. He said afterwards that, other than struggling with location on some pitches, he felt pretty good and never once thought about the “push off” foot he had surgery on 19 days ago.

“I didn’t at all think about my foot, to be honest with you,” Lee said. “I was more focused on locating pitches and trying to get my mechanics where they needed to be. The foot thing is basically behind me. I’ve felt good for a while now and I was fairly certain when I first got here that I could jump right in with everyone.
“But it was kind of a ‘Better safe than sorry’ approach at that point. Now, I’m off the mound, I feel fine and hopefully this thing is behind me.”


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Mariners bullpen catcher Jason Phillips handled Lee during the session.
“I threw all my pitches,” Lee said. “Obviously, I was working more on locating fastballs and wasn’t quite where I wanted to be. But considering the circumstances, I feel good with where I’m at.”
Lee figures he’ll be a little bit behind other pitchers when it comes to getting in games. But he expects to do regular work from here on and hopes he’ll catch up quickly.
“Now I need to get in shape, get off the mound more and catch up to everyone else,” he said. “I’m a pitcher. So, to get here and not get off the mound, that’s not a good feeling.”
Lee says he is now very glad he had foot surgery to remove a bony mass rather than try to play through it with painkilling shots.
“If I would have tried to battle it all year, it would have been an ongoing thing and I would have had to have had the procedure done later,” he said. “So, for me to get it over with and behind me was big.”
Just got out of the clubhouse, where Shawn Kelley and Mark Lowe were sitting at their lockers talking in an almost empty room. Kelley showed off the six stiches he took on his chin after accidentally being clipped by one of Lowe’s spikes as the pitchers were about to go through stretching exercises. The coaching staff says the pair had been “horsing around” a bit prior to the incident.
Kelley missed some PFP drills, but was otherwise fine. He didn’t have a bullpen session scheduled, since he threw one yesterday.
Kelley had bent over to do something — he thinks it may have been to tie his shoe but says he can’t remember — when Lowe kicked his foot up and got him.
“At first, I thought he just tapped my face,” Kelley said. “Then, I saw the blood and figured there must be a spike involved.”
Kelley had already given blood this morning as the team collected medical samples for their routine diagnostic tests, leading Kelley to joke that he was feeling a little faint. Lowe, sitting across from him, quipped: “I was going to write you a Get Well card.”
Kelley has a beard right where the stiches are, meaning he won’t be shaving for a while.
“I was going to trim it today too because we have media photo day tomorrow,” he said.
Lowe then chimed in.
“I can do it for you with some scissors.”
No word yet on whether Kelley would risk letting him near his face with anything sharp.

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