Phillies: With Andrew McCutchen injured, who will play LF?
Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen will miss some games early in the season due to injury; who will assume left field duties in his absence?
News broke Friday afternoon that Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen would not be ready for Opening Day, March 26 against the Miami Marlins.
The former MVP is still rehabbing his ACL, which he tore last year in June, and manager Joe Girardi says he projects “Cutch” to be ready sometime in April.
As disappointing as this was for Phillies fans to hear, every closed door means another one is open. With McCutchen expected to miss some time early in the season, this will only create an opportunity for someone else to show their skills.
One option is 26-year-old outfielder Roman Quinn. A name who was already being talked about as a potential starting option over Adam Haseley, Roman is all but guaranteed to receive serious playing time early in the year with McCutchen unavailable.
Quinn has had an up-and-down career as a Phillie. His elite speed and athleticism have always been a positive talking point, but his inability to stay on the field has long stunted his growth. Due to several different injuries, Quinn has only appeared in 109 games over three seasons.
When healthy, Roman provides a different dynamic to the Phillies. He regularly stretches out singles into doubles, and doubles into triples. He’s a constant threat to steal and his defense looked borderline-elite last year. His bat is ever-improving as well, hitting .368 in the month of August during the 2019 season.
Another option the Phillies could turn to is veteran Jay Bruce. Similar to Quinn, Bruce struggled to stay on the field last year. However, when he was healthy and “firing on all cylinders,” Bruce was clearly one of the better sluggers on the roster.
Bruce finished the year with 12 homers and 31 RBIs as a Phillie; however, most of that production came in June before he got injured. In the first month with his new team, Bruce slashed .273/.296/.610, hitting seven home runs and knocking in 20 RBI.
If Bruce can show up to Opening Day healthy, expect him to get most of the run as the everyday left fielder in McCutchen’s absence.
With Girardi revealing that McCutchen will officially be missing some this year, the outfield competition will only ramp up more as spring training games continue, including right-hander Zack Wheeler‘s debut on Saturday.
Haseley has all but locked up the permanent CF job, but guys like Quinn, Bruce, Kyle Garlick, and even Nick Williams will all be pressing hard for that extra available time out in left.