Since Andrew McCutchen got hurt, the Phillies just have not been the same team. Now, they are hoping Corey Dickerson can be an ample replacement.
The inflection point of the Phillies‘ 2019 season was on June 3 when Andrew McCutchen tearing his ACL in a rundown. Before that, the team was doing well enough and had a 33-26 record heading into the game McCutchen got hurt. Since then, they are 26-27 and their playoff chances have dropped considerably.
McCutchen was a crucial piece of the lineup as the leadoff hitter and the team has gotten essentially nothing from the leadoff spot since his injury. Since June 3, Philadelphia’s leadoff hitters rank 28th in on-base percentage and 29th in batting average, OPS, and wRC+.
Simply put, the Phillies just have not been the same without McCutchen. Now they are hoping the newly-acquired Corey Dickerson can fill the hole McCutchen left at the top of the order.
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Dickerson is doing quite well this season in limited action. In 44 games with the Pirates before being traded, he had a .313/.373/.551 line with 13 walks and 23 strikeouts in 142 plate appearances. Dickerson spent most of his time with Pittsburgh hitting sixth as he started just one game in the leadoff spot.
However, with no clear option, Philadelphia is now turning to Dickerson to be the team’s new leadoff hitter. The early returns have been good as Dickerson went 2-for-5 with a home run and three runs batted in starting in the leadoff spot Sunday. He will hit leadoff again Tuesday and will hopefully continue his early success in that spot.
To be fair, it’s unlikely Dickerson will be a one-for-one replacement for McCutchen in left field. McCutchen turned out to be an adept defender with four defensive runs saved and a 2.6 ultimate zone rating in left. Meanwhile, Dickerson has -6 defensive runs saved and a -3.3 ultimate zone rating this year.
The fact that McCutchen getting hurt sent the team into a tailspin will be examined heavily during the offseason. In the meantime, Dickerson can hopefully fill some of the lost offensive production McCutchen took with him.