Lee's hearing with MLB postponed
Mariners lefty has to wait to discuss appeal of suspension
PHOENIX -- The uncertainty of left-hander Cliff Lee's immediate status on two fronts remained unchanged on Monday.He moved one day closer to playing catch on Wednesday to test his strained lower abdominal muscle, but a conference call on Monday regarding his five-game suspension was postponed. A Major League Baseball official was unable to make the appointment. "We got a heads-up that it was going to be postponed," said general manager Jack Zduriencik during the Mariners' 3-2 win over the Athletics. "They told us to 'hang tight and we'll be in touch with you, but don't expect it to be when it was originally scheduled.'" Zduriencik said the hearing has not been rescheduled. "It is what it is," the GM said. "They said they will get back to us when there is an exact date. It would be nice to get it behind us, but we'll wait for them to reschedule it and deal with it at that point in time." The suspension stems from a March 15 incident during a Cactus League game against the D-backs in Tucson, Ariz. With two outs and a runner on second base, Lee threw a pitch that sailed right over the head of D-backs catcher Chris Snyder, who walked out of the batter's box toward Lee as the two exchanged words. Home-plate umpire Brian Knight immediately ejected Lee and both dugouts and bullpens emptied toward the mound, but no punches were thrown.
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The incident appeared to be related to a confrontation between the two in the first inning, when Lee ran to cover home plate on a Chris Young RBI single and ran into Snyder, causing him to fall down.Lee apparently was injured on the play and it became worse three days later when he threw his usual between-start bullpen session. He has since been examined in Seattle by team medical director Dr. Ed Khalfayan, who prescribed platelet-rich plasma therapy, a process that uses the patient's own blood to speed recovery from sports-related injuries. Lee is scheduled to play catch on Wednesday at the Peoria Sports Complex, at which time his game plan on the field could be affected. It remains uncertain whether he will begin the regular season on the Mariners' 25-man roster or be placed on the 15-day disabled list.
"I can't say much about the hearing," manager Don Wakamatsu said. "A lot depends on his health and where he's at. He actually is doing pretty good right now. He did some stuff in the pool today and did some throwing [while sitting] on a chair, which is kind of isolated. He stretched it out a little and didn't feel anything at all. That's a positive."
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.