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Andrew McCutchen is out of the lead-off spot … for now


Weather permitting, the Phillies will resume their four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night. Andrew McCutchen was granted two consecutive days off after a slow start to the season. Manager Joe Girardi said on Tuesday that McCutchen should be back in the lineup Wednesday.

Andrew McCutchen will bat fifth in Wednesday’s game. (Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire)

This time around, McCutchen will bat fifth. It’s the first time in his big league career he has been penciled into the No. 5 spot as a starter and his first time out of the No. 1 spot in the starting lineup for the Phillies.

This is far from a permanent switch. McCutchen’s placement in the order has more to do with the plethora of lefties in the Phillies lineup more than anything else. With three left-handers in the Cardinals bullpen in Génesis Cabrera, Andrew Miller and Tyler Webb, Girardi preferred not to have four consecutive lefties in the order.

“If I had J.T. and Bohm play today, I probably would have led Cutch off,” Girardi said Wednesday. “That’s the bottom line, but with the way the lineup is kind of set up, I just had to do it this way.”

Instead, Miller will bat first for the third straight game. He doesn’t fit the mold of an ideal lead-off hitter, but Girardi likes his ability to do damage against right-handed pitching.

“He’s had some decent on-base [numbers] against right-handers,” Girardi said about Miller. “He’s had really good damage against right-handers. It’s kind of why I put him there.”

As of now, Girardi is mum on the idea that McCutchen has lost his job as the lead-off hitter. He’s 10-for-65 so far this season with one home run, six RBIs, 14 walks and a .531 OPS.

Pregame Notes

  • Phillies infielder Ronald Torreyes is still in COVID-19 protocol. Contact tracing has kept him out since April 19. The Phillies coaching staff is at full strength as coaching assistant Bobby Meacham was cleared to return from COVID protocols.
  • There’s a good chance that the Phillies will play today, according to Girardi. Rain is in the forecast around gametime in St. Louis. “It didn’t seem like we had any chance when we went to bed last night, but I actually think we’re going to have a shot,” Girardi said.
  • The Phillies honored catcher Logan O’Hoppe and outfielder Johan Rojas with the Bill Giles and Larry Rojas awards. The team presents the awards annually at the end of minor-league spring training. According to the Phillies, “the awards were established in 1999 to honor minor leaguers who share the same love and appreciation of the game as the awards’ namesakes.”
  • Spencer Howard could be slated to make his first start at the alternate site since being optioned out on either Friday or Saturday.

Tonight’s Lineups

Phillies

  1. Brad Miller, third base
  2. Rhys Hoskins, first base
  3. Bryce Harper, right field
  4. Didi Gregorius, shortstop
  5. Andrew McCutchen, left field
  6. Odúbel Herrera, center field
  7. Andrew Knapp, catcher
  8. Nick Maton, second base
  9. Vince Velasquez, pitcher

Cardinals

  1. Tommy Edman, second base
  2. Dylan Carlson, center field
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, first base
  4. Nolan Arenado, third base
  5. Paul DeJong, shortstop
  6. Tyler O’Neill, left field
  7. Justin Williams, right field
  8. Andrew Knizner, catcher
  9. Johan Oviedo, pitcher

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