Should The Phillies Be Worried About Andrew McCutchen?

MLB: AUG 25 Phillies at Nationals
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 25: Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) congratulates right fielder Bryce Harper (3) after scoring a run during the Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals MLB game at Nationals Park on August 25, 2020 in Washington, D.C.. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire)

The short answer is no, but that does not mean that there shouldn’t be concerned. Andrew McCutchen is a former MVP that could still be recovering from his torn ACL from two years ago.

McCutchen is in the final year of his 3 years $50 million deal that he signed in the offseason leading into the 2019 season. He is an aging player that can still play but his bat has to come alive more than his .164 batting average. Minus his dropped fly ball yesterday, he still defends at an above-average level.

The one main concern that I have about him is his lead-off skills. He has shown in the past how valuable he is as a lead-off hitter and getting on base at a high clip. In 2019, before he got hurt, his on-base percentage was .378 and it felt like he was always starting off the game by getting on base. It might not seem a lot but as a former baseball player myself, it sets the tone and sends a message to the entire team in the dugout that its go time. It could create energy especially on the road where this team struggles mightily. Jimmy Rollins was great at it and would get in the batter’s box for his first at-bat ready to jump on the first pitch.

A day off for Cutch could help him reset and get ready for the rest of the year. This team needs his bat and leadership if they want to reach the playoffs this year. Andrew McCutchen is a big presence within the locker room. He keeps it loose and brings everyone together as one. He is a long-time veteran that has proved over his career that he will hit about .250 and be above average.

Plan B if Andrew McCutchen Continues to Struggle

On the flip side, if he does continue to struggle, I do not think the Phillies can ride his struggles out continuously. With Brad Miller swinging the bat well, he could see time in left field as McCutchen is fighting through his struggles. If I were Joe Girardi, I would definitely move Andrew McCutchen out of the lead-off spot and replace him with Rhys Hoskins. I think Rhys makes the opposing pitcher work from the first pitch and it allows the rest of the team to see every pitch that pitcher has to offer.

My Ideal Lineup (if Andrew McCutchen continues to struggle):

  1. Rhys Hoskins
  2. Jean Segura
  3. Bryce Harper
  4. J.T. Realmuto
  5. Alec Bohm
  6. Didi Gregorius
  7. Andrew McCutchen/Brad Miller
  8. Mickey Moniak
  9. Starting Pitcher

I still believe in Andrew McCutchen but I also think that it is his last year in Philadelphia.

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Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire