McCutchen injury has the Phillies on the ropes; skid reaches five

Philadelphia outfielder Andrew McCutchen sprains knee
It was another loss, but this one hurt exponentially more than just a dropped game in the standings. Andrew McCutchen fell to the ground between first and second base in the first inning of Monday night's series opener between the Phillies and the Padres. He was attempting to engage in a rundown to avoid a tag but instead had to be helped off the field and into the visitors' dugout.

The loss of McCutchen, potentially for a lengthy period of time, stings more than the 8-2 loss at Petco Park.

Early indications are of a severely sprained left knee, but we won't know more until he undergoes an MRI on Tuesday.

“I didn't feel a pop or anything, it was just something uncomfortable that made me grab my knee and go down," McCutchen said (see video). "I've had an ACL injury before and I know what that feels like and this didn't feel like that."

McCutchen found himself in a rundown because Jean Segura slipped in the batter's box and didn't hustle up the first base line on a pop-up to second base. Padres infielder Ian Kinsler noticed this and let the ball fall in front of him in an attempt to induce a double play.

Segura and manager Gabe Kapler spoke after the game with Segura admitting fault for not hustling to first.



The potential loss of McCutchen is a severe blow to a club with postseason ambitions. His veteran leadership and calming demeanor will leave a void in the clubhouse, not to mention a sizable hole in depth on the active roster.

The Phillies are still sitting atop the division, despite several flaws in need of immediate attention. The starting rotation has proved to be a weak point with regards to pitching deep into games, and so the bullpen is overtaxed and missing several arms due to injury. The offense has also had its share of issues, namely stemming from inconsistency.

Losing McCutchen, in addition to the flaws noted above, is a surefire way to run a club out of a pennant race. It's also a means to test Kapler and his staying power as manager of this ballclub. The expectations were too high entering the season to have the wheels come off now.

To replace McCutchen on the roster the club will promote Triple-A Lehigh Valley outfielder Adam Haseley and he'll be in San Diego tonight.

The Phillies are in the midst of a five-game losing skid and hope to turn things around tonight with Jerad Eickhoff on the mound facing righty Chris Paddack.
_____________________________________________
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

No comments: