A shortened season may give the Philadelphia Phillies something that they would not have had if games were played as scheduled — their leadoff batter.
“Now I know, whenever the time comes and we’re playing again, I’ll be ready to go,” McCutchen said in the phone interview.
The 33-year-old posted an .834 OPS in 59 games for the Phillies last season and was their primary leadoff hitter before tearing his ACL on June 3. McCutchen will now have plenty of time to recover by the time baseball comes back, assuming it does this year.
In spring training, manager Joe Girardi hit catcher J.T. Realmuto in the one-hole a handful of times before baseball was suspended due to the spread of COVID-19. It looked like Realmuto could fill in for McCutchen in that spot in the order until McCutchen returned from the injured list. But now it seems like that will not really matter, as the Phillies will likely have their regular leadoff hitter when they take the field next.
“We had a handful of guys who could do it but I guess I don’t have to worry about that anymore,” McCutchen said, “because I’ll be leading off.”
Now that we know who will be leading off for the Phillies, there is a much clearer idea of what the lineup could look like when baseball is back. Here is a projection for the 2020 batting order:
- Andrew McCutchen, left field
- Bryce Harper, right field
- J.T. Realmuto, catcher
- Rhys Hoskins, first base
- Didi Gregorius, shortstop
- Jean Segura, third base
- Scott Kingery, second base
- Roman Quinn, center field
- Aaron Nola, pitcher
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