The Phillies had yet to make injury news thus far into the 2020 season. However, that streak broke on Friday, when the Phillies learned that one of their star players would not be ready to begin the new season. Outfielder Andrew McCutchen, who tore his ACL last season, will not be ready to start the season.
After Friday's 6-5 win against the Atlanta Braves, Phillies manager Joe Girardi told reporters including Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer that McCutchen will return to the Phillies "sometime in April.
Unlike last year, the Phillies have some options. Jay Bruce, acquired in June to assist in the outfield after the arrest of Odubel Herrera, can start in left field while Roman Quinn and Adam Haseley can play center field. The injury opens up a roster spot that could go to Nick Williams, newer acquisitions Kyle Garlick and Nick Martini, or non-roster invitees Mikie Mahtook and Matt Sczcur.
Infield utility candidates Logan Forsythe, Josh Harrison, Phil Gosselin and Neil Walker could all could play some left field, as could Scott Kingery if necessary.
In other words, there will be no shortage of options for the Phillies. If it is just a matter of weeks, the Phillies could look to someone they can option to the minor leagues afterwards, such as Garlick or Martini.
The Phillies will also have to find someone else to fill the lead off hitter role McCutchen was expected to fill. Kingery led off yesterday in Fort Myers against the Red Sox and could be a candidate.