Phillies have an opportunity to get healthy during the break
There are some ways the Phillies can benefit from this unfortunate break
It’s something no fan wants to see, but unfortunately, the start of Phillies baseball has been delayed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Major League Baseball is suspending spring training and pushing opening day back at least two weeks, meaning we won’t get regular season baseball until mid-April at the earliest.
This is the worst case scenario for baseball, and obviously this situation extends well beyond sports. No one wants to see games be canceled or the season be shortened, but it is ultimately what’s best for the world.
So where does this leave the Phillies? Players will likely return home to their families and do their best to stay in shape after ramping up workouts and playing games for the last three weeks.
What this delay to the season does mean is that the Phillies have an opportunity to enter the 2020 season, whenever it starts, healthier than they would have been.
The player that benefits the most is Andrew McCutchen, who is less than a year removed from ACL surgery. He was originally scheduled to start the season on the injured list, but he could now potentially return on opening day, whenever that may be.
Delaying the season takes the pressure off McCutchen to ramp up his rehab and push himself to return to action. His knee can now heal to as close to perfect as possible.
Even McCutchen acknowledged the break could help him in the long run.
Questions still remain regarding Seranthony Dominguez, who suffered a setback returning from an elbow injury, and Jake Arrieta, who left the Phillies final game for an unknown reason.
If Dominguez’s injury is serious, which is very possible, he could undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the entire season, regardless of when it starts.
Losing Dominguez would be a major blow to the bullpen, but most everyone knew he couldn’t be relied upon coming off his injury.
Arrieta’s situation remains fluid as we don’t know the extent of his injury, if there is one.
He’s also coming back from an elbow injury after having bone spurs removed last year. Arrieta is a valuable piece of the Phillies rotation so shutting him down for a couple of weeks could also help.
Right now the best case scenario is that all of the players stay healthy during this break, whether it be avoiding the virus or not suffering freak injuries. Hopefully we can return to normalcy as soon as possible and play ball.