Some discouraging news came out of Camelback Ranch today as reports indicated that Dodgers top pitching prospect Zach Lee had to skip his first scheduled bullpen session of Spring Training on Monday due to a lat strain. Lee was invited to Major League camp as a non-roster player for the first time in his career, but unfortunately suffered a mild lat strain two weeks ago while doing pull-ups during the Dodgers “Young Guns” pitching mini-camp.
A special meeting between Zach Lee and Don Newcombe during the Winter Development Program at Dodger Stadium. Photo: Stacie Wheeler
The right-hander is still able to play catch, and he hopes to return to the mound soon. After pitching three seasons in the Dodgers minor league system, the 22-year old has yet to pitch above the Double-A level. Last season for AA-Chattanooga, Lee finished the season with a record of 10-10 and a 3.22 ERA in 28 games (25 starts) and 131/35 K/BB over 142 2/3 innings pitched.
While expectations for the 1st round draft pick have waned a bit, Lee still looks to be a middle of the rotation type pitcher at the Major League level. The Dodgers swayed Lee away from attending LSU and playing football and baseball for the college with a $5.25 million signing bonus in 2010 when they drafted him out of McKinney High School in Texas.
Lee was named the Dodgers Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2013. Although he is currently injured, Lee still will likely make his Dodger debut sometime in 2014.