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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Scouting Report Cliff Lee

Cliff Lee
32 years old
10th major league season
6'2" 190 pounds
Bats L/Throws L

The highest his ERA has been the past 3 years is 3.22 (lowest was 2.54).
The highest his WHIP has been the past 3 years is 1.25 (lowest was 1.00).
He's thrown 210+ innings each of the past 3 years.

And that doesn't mention his 10 career post-season starts, where he's 7-2, with a 2.13 ERA and 0.82 WHIP.  Don't forget his K/9 rate in the post-season was 9.5, and his BB/9 rate was 0.95. Re-read those numbers again.

He shocked the baseball world this off-season by returning to the Phillies, and leaving money on the table when he spurned the Yankees offer.

Lee is a 4-pitch pitcher with outstanding control. He has a 92 mph fastball, an outstanding cutter (86 mph), a 75 mph curve, and an 84 mph plus change-up. His fastball is one of the best in baseball, and he has increased his cutter use this year to 24% (from 6% in 2008). He throws 1st pitch strikes 72% of the time, and has a 10.5% swing and a miss rate.

This year Lee is 2-2 with 5 starts and 4.18 ERA, 1.05 WHIP. He's given up a bunch of home runs this year (4 in 32 innings, when last year he let up 16 in 212 innings). He's had 3 starts of 11+ Ks, and has not walked more than 1 hitter in a game. He's pitching as well as he has the past 3 years besides the sudden spike in home runs, so don't look at his ERA and think he's having a bad year.

He's still an ace that will make 21+ million next year, and 25 million the following 3 years.

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