Two seasons after being unceremoniously dumped by the Pirates, McCutchen was returning to All-Star form.
The wheels of fate just rolled over Andrew McCutchen’s left ACL and his chances of leading the Philadelphia Phillies to the playoffs this season. The veteran outfielder, who was signed to add some grit and leadership to a team that was making its move on the rest of baseball after a historic offseason in which they signed Bryce Harper to a $330 million contract, tore his ACL in a rundown on Tuesday night and is out for the season.
McCutchen’s services cost the Phillies much less than Harper’s, but the veteran outfielder has proved to be just as valuable to the Phillies championship hopes. The former NL MVP and savior of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise performed admirably in his stints with San Francisco and the NY Yankees this season, proving he wasn’t washed up.
In fact, McCutchen had recently cracked the Top 10 of our “Top MLB Black Knights of 2019” list.
Cutch may not have the bat speed or the athletic prowess that he once had in his five-tool prime, but the 32-year-old still gets on base at a high rate. He also had 10 homers before getting hurt and was in the Top 5 in MLB in runs scored.
This season was supposed to be his redemption song.
The Pirates said he was done and tossed him away after he led their transformation from baseball’s Saigon to playoff contender. The Phillies were counting heavily on McCutchen who led off in 59 games this season
“It will be impossible for the Phillies to find someone who can duplicate how perfect Andrew was at the top of the lineup,” said ESPN’s baseball guru Buster Olney.
He was first in the NL in walks, third in OBP at .378 and Top 20 in Pitches per PA. Plus, he’s the leader in the clubhouse and the catalyst. Now he has to be a cheerleader, while Philadelphia tries to maintain its slim lead over a surging Braves squad in the NL East Division.