Dodgers top pitching prospect Zach Lee skipped his first spring training bullpen session Monday due to a mild strain in his right lat. The 22-year-old right-hander is in his first major league spring training camp and is looking to show management he’s ready to make the jump.
Lee was recently at the Dodgers “Young Guns” camp two weeks ago along with other Dodgers pitching prospects at Dodger Stadium. According to Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com, the young right-hander suffered the injury then:
Dodgers pitching prospect Zach Lee, participating in his first Major League camp as a non-roster invitee, has a mild right lat strain and skipped his first scheduled bullpen session on Monday. Lee said he suffered the injury during the “Young Guns” pitching mini-camp two weeks ago while doing pull-ups. He is able to play catch and said he’s hopeful of returning to the mound soon.
With their first-round pick in the 2010 draft, the Dodgers went as far as giving Lee $5.25 million to convince him to sign with the Dodgers instead of attending LSU as a quarterback for their football team. Lee was recently named number 63 on MLB.com’s top 100 MLB prospects list, alongside prospects Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, and Julio Urias.
Last season with the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts, Lee went 10-10 with a 3.22 ERA including 131 strikeouts in 142.2 innings. Long thought of as a potential ace of a pitching staff, Lee hasn’t shown he has a go-to pitch and many believe he’s nothing more than a number three starter when he’s in the big leagues.
Manager Don Mattingly is looking at all of his options, including potentially moving either Josh Beckett or newly signed Paul Maholm to the bullpen. With a good camp, Lee could’ve possibly proved to many that he deserves a spot in the rotation, but he likely won’t be with the big league team without a few injuries to other starters.
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