Alright, as everyone knows, Lee is off to an incredible start and even won the first pitcher of the month award. He's started off well tonight, with 4 shutout innings against the Yankees.
In 5 starts, Lee has a line of:
5-0, 37 IP, 0.96 ERA
32 K, 2 BB, 1.10 GB/FB
.195 BAPIP, 2.6% HR/FB
1.78 FIP, 2.79 xFIP
As you can see, it hasn't just been a string of 5 really lucky starts or anything, as his peripherals check out. I find that type of transformation incredible, even if it is over just a small sample size. Obviously, this kind of production will not keep up, but the numbers are still exceedingly strong. But it's a pretty interesting turn-around from his last season struggles that were bad enough to merit a demotion to AAA.
Personally, I have never been a big Cliff Lee fan, though he was a reasonable pitcher during 2005 and 2006. Realistically, that's where I've always seen his ceiling settling in on, but it's hard to completely ignore gaudy numbers like that (even when limited to 5 starts). So my question is, has Lee taken a big step forward at age 30, or is he ready to go back to his "middle of the rotation" norm?