Baltimore Orioles pitching prospect Chris Lee will be out for at least four weeks with an oblique injury he suffered during a Spring Training game on Tuesday.
Baltimore Orioles pitching prospect Chris Lee will be out for at least four weeks with an oblique injury he suffered during a Spring Training game on Tuesday, according to MASN’s Roch Kubatko on Twitter.
When asked about it following the injury, manager Buck Showalter hadn’t sounded particularly optimistic about Lee’s return. “There’s a pretty good pattern of the days it takes,” he said. “That’s one injury that pretty much runs its course. It isn’t earlier and it isn’t later.”
Lee was seen as one of many potential options for the Baltimore Orioles to use in the bullpen. Lee started 20 games for the Baltimore Orioles Triple-A Norfolk team last year and pitched to a 5.11 ERA and 1.70 WHIP with a 6.42 K/9 over 116.1 innings pitched.
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Last season was the most innings Lee has ever pitched in his minor league career, having eclipsed over 100 innings pitched just one other time, in 2014 when he was in the Houston Astros’ system. That year, he pitched 113 innings with a 3.66 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, and a 5.97 K/9.
Last season was by far Lee’s worst season since he joined the Baltimore Orioles’ minor league system. In 2016, Lee had his best season yet, pitching to a 2.98 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and a 3.33 K/9 over 51.1 innings pitched. While the K/9 was much lower than its been in his career, the ERA and WHIP were excellent.
Even before the 2016 season, Lee had ERAs of 3.08 and 3.07 in 2015 and 2014 respectively, spending 2015 in Double-A and 2014 in Single-A.
Lee was initially drafted in the 37th round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of high school by the Chicago White Sox. Lee declined to sign with the team, electing instead to Santa Fe Community College.
He was then drafted by the Houston Astros in the fourth round of the 2011 MLB Draft and signed with them. In May of 2015, the Astros traded Lee to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for two international signing bonus slots.