Phillies' Andrew McCutchen Posts Emotional Message About Return to Baseball

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2020

Philadelphia Phillies' Andrew McCutchen reacts after running the bases during baseball practice at Citizens Bank Park, Tuesday, July 7, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen posted an emotional message Friday as he prepares to play his first MLB game since tearing his ACL last June:

andrew mccutchen @TheCUTCH22

417 days. It’s been 417 days since I played a Major League Baseball game. The longest I have ever gone since I picked up a bat at the age of 5. I’ve cried,laughed,worked,and grown throughout this process that at times,seemed endless. I’ve missed this game so much. Now, I’m ready https://t.co/j4Kbr7fJzu

McCutchen signed with the Phillies prior to last season. He was off to a strong start with a .834 OPS and 10 home runs in 59 games before suffering the season-ending knee injury.

The 33-year-old Florida native was scheduled to miss the start of the 2020 campaign while completing his recovery, but the delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic will allow him to take part in Opening Day on Friday when Philadelphia hosts the Miami Marlins.

McCutchen told John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia in early July the extra time helped him fine tune his game in addition to getting healthy.

"I didn't get through the rehab process by just trying to get ready, I actually was able to take my time and really tinker with small things because there wasn't a season right away," he said. "I was able to really take my time and hone in to my rehab process. It was really good for me to be able to do that. It set me up to be ready for the season."

McCutchen is slated to serve as the Phillies' starting left fielder and leadoff hitter in 2020.

He'll play a crucial role as Philadelphia battles with the reigning World Series champion Washington Nationals, the defending NL East champion Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets in the division race. Even the Marlins have the potential to make some noise in the shortened 60-game regular season.

McCutchen's career resume includes the 2013 NL MVP Award, which he captured while with the Pittsburgh Pirates, five All-Star selections, four Silver Slugger Awards and a Gold Glove Award.