Cliff Lee not ready, minor league start doubtful

Cliff Lee won’t take the mound when he’s eligible to come off the disabled list Friday. The southpaw’s oblique is still bothering him, but it is getting better.

“He hasn’t felt it [the oblique strain] to a great degree,” pitching coach Rich Dubee said. “He feels it with the first couple throws [during long toss] and then it disappears. He probably could pitch, but we want to make sure he’s going to be healthy. We don’t want to lose him for another three or four starts. We’ll get him back when he’s ready.”

Dubee doesn’t believe Lee, who could be on the hill for the Phillies next week, needs a minor league start. The Phillies would like Lee to throw two bullpen sessions without pain before he makes his next start.

Michael Martinez, who is recovering from a broken foot, popped into the dugout during batting practice. The utility infielder, who was nearly unrecognizable with a buzz cut, is still wearing a boot. There is no date when Martinez will come off the DL.