JUNE 3: Outfielder Andrew McCutchen departed after suffering an apparent left knee injury in the first inning of the Phillies’ game against the Padres on Monday, per reports from Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, Matt Gelb of The Athletic and Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia. McCutchen needed assistance getting off the field.
The Phillies replaced McCutchen with fellow veteran outfielder Jay Bruce, whom they acquired from the Mariners on Sunday. Philadelphia’s plan when it landed Bruce was to add some left-handed pop to its bench, but if McCutchen’s injury is serious, the former could take on a greater role than expected with his new team. Along with putting Bruce in the game in the wake of McCutchen’s exit, the Phillies shifted utilityman Sean Rodriguez from left to center.
Bruce, Rodriguez, Bryce Harper, Scott Kingery and Phil Gosselin represent the Phillies’ healthy outfield options currently in the majors, though they do have the experienced Nick Williams at the Triple-A level. Aside from Harper, however, the 32-year-old McCutchen is easily the Phillies’ most productive choice in the outfield.
After signing a three-year, $50MM contract with the Phillies during the offseason, McCutchen – a five-time All-Star – has gotten off to a .256/.378/.457 (124 wRC+) start with 10 home runs and 43 walks against 55 strikeouts with his new club. As one of the Phillies’ premier offensive players, he’s not someone the first-place team can afford to lose. Philly entered play Monday holding a one-game lead over Atlanta in the NL East.