Monday, March 21, 2011

Derrek Lee Returns to Action...or Does He?

Not getting off on the right foot...
Derrek Lee made his Oriole debut on Saturday. Woo-hoo!

Lee said the plan all along called for him to get two at-bats. He'll get three tomorrow in Port Charlotte and take off Monday.

Lee sounds encouraged and figures to get enough at-bats to be ready for the April 1 opener.

"It feels great. I was happy. It wasn't an issue. I didn't feel it swinging. I kind of landed on it going for a ball and didn't feel it. I was happy with it," Lee said.

"It was two at-bats all the way, and three tomorrow...

All right. Lee's out there, swinging the bat, fantastic.

Wait. What?

First baseman Derrek Lee, who made his Orioles' debut yesterday and was supposed to play again today, is no longer in the lineup because of a sore left foot. Lee fouled a ball off his left foot during his first at-bat...

What the hell.

"Derrek goes home last night and [head athletic trainer Richie Bancells] called me and said, ‘We got a problem,’" (Buck) Showalter said, this morning. "He said that [Lee] was fine when he left here but he was sitting in a chair or whatever and he said, ‘Richie, this thing is killing me. [It] is throbbing, I don’t know what’s going on here. I’ve never had anything like this.’ I’m [saying], ‘perfect.’ Anyway, it was a long night. He went to get an X-ray and the X-ray had said everything looked OK with the exception of one spot the guy was concerned with. He had an MRI this morning at 8 o’clock, and we just got the results back and that’s clean. So we dodged a bullet there, it looks like."

Lee is scheduled to come back on Tuesday if the foot feels better. That will give him just about a week of Spring Training before the team heads north.

There is absolutely no reason to rush Lee. Luke Scott can slide in to play first, Nolan Reimold (who has had a great spring by the way) can play left and they can delay a decision on Felix Pie. Get him totally healthy and leave him in extended Spring Training.

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