Latest injury update on Phillies top prospect brings best possible news

Is the potential return of one of MLB's top pitching prospects on the horizon?
Philadelphia Phillies v Minnesota Twins, Andrew Painter
Philadelphia Phillies v Minnesota Twins, Andrew Painter / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
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At the beginning of the 2023 season, the Philadelphia Phillies had high hopes surrounding their top prospect Andrew Painter, with even the possibility of him making their major league roster to start the year despite having not played a game in Triple-A. After all, Painter fast-tracked through three levels of the Phillies’ minor league system in 2022, having excelled after each subsequent promotion. With a cumulative stats line of a 1.48 ERA, 0.875 WHIP, 18 earned runs, 71 hits, 25 walks, 167 strikeouts over 109.2 innings in two minor league seasons, he’s more than ready for the next level and beyond.

However, an unfortunate right proximal ulnar collateral ligament injury back in March during Spring Training has put the MLB top ten prospect (and MLB top two pitching prospect) on the sidelines ever since. His initial prognosis was that he would be shut down for four weeks and then begin a light throwing program shortly afterwards, but it turned out to be a lot longer than expected without any updates, bringing much worries to Phillies’ management and the fanbase.

Fortunately, there has finally been some great positive news coming out of Painter’s camp. Phillies’ manager Rob Thomson stated that Painter will be facing live hitters this coming Tuesday for the first time since Spring Training, and is expected to be able to pitch competitively again this summer, along with the possibility of even making his long-awaited MLB debut later this season.

With the Phillies’ starting rotation holding down the fort strongly with their recent hot streak in the past month and a half, their pitching will definitely become a lot scarier for opposing teams if Painter is added to the mix in the stretch run, and in doing so, will no doubt make the Phillies favourites once again in making the postseason, giving them another potential shot at the World Series title that eluded them just last year.