News broke yesterday that Andrew McCutchen will not be ready for opening day. https://www.nbcsports.com/philadelphia/phillies/andrew-mccutchen-injured-phillies-opening-day
I said prior to spring training, that too much stock was being put into McCutchen coming back at 100% way too quickly at his age. The Phillies told us 100x he would be ready… now he’s not. Will he be here by mid April? Or in 2 more weeks will we get another update that says May now? 33 year old ACL repairs are just not predictable.
What does that mean for the Phillies, their outfield, and their lead off spot in the lineup?
They have a few options.. just not as ideal as having a healthy Andrew McCutchen leading off.
- Roman Quinn would be the obvious fill in. He could play CF and Adam Haseley could move to LF. Quinn has shown glimpses of being an everyday player with huge speed and a perfect amount of pop for a lead off hitter. His problem is health… he is just never healthy enough to count on.
- Jay Bruce could fill in briefly. But he has some shoulder issues that hamper his throwing ability. So him being out there everyday is not a smart defensive option. Plus that takes away our best power option off the bench.
- There are 40 man roster spot holders like Nick Williams and Kyle Garlick… neither make me fell safe. Although I liked what Nicky W did his rookie year, I just think (and most would probably agree) the ship has sailed on that guy (at least in red pinstripes).
- There are the non roster invitees that were meant to be bench pieces that could rotate in… Harrison, Walker, Gosslin, Martini, just to name a few. All these could help in a rotation role but none would provide the leadoff ability that Cutch has shown he can provide.
- There is the other option of a highly paid man in the minors named Odubell Herrera that is looking to rehab his image. While starting him would result in some PR issues for the team, he has been an all star… and although inconsistent, could bring some stability to the top of the order. This is a sleeper option here. If the Phillies really want to move on from him, showcasing him for a few weeks, could just be the best way to get a team to bite on him.
My guess is Quinn gets the 1st crack at it. And if he cannot hit this spring, there is a solid shot at them giving the job to Odubell bc at least he has lead off experience. He claims he is sorry for his past behavior ( https://www.nbcsports.com/philadelphia/phillies/odubel-herrera-apologizes-phillies-fans-domestic-violence-arrest)… is that enough for the fans though to forgive him?
What do you think they will do and also should do with the lead off spot and LF?