The team announced Friday that potential Phillies pitching shortstop Andrew Painter sprained his right proximal ulnar collateral ligament last week and will rest four weeks from the date of the injury before beginning mild progression in throwing. Here’s what you need to know:
Painter came to camp on March 2 with a “fluffy” elbow, after being thrown the day before. The team said it underwent an MRI on March 3 that revealed a sprain, and requested a second opinion from well-known surgeon Dr. Neil Al-Atrash.
The 19-year-old Painter—Philadelphia’s MVP and No. 13 prospect in baseball, according to The Athletic’s Keith Law—was pitching in the Opening Day rotation.
Painter threw 29 pitches in the Grapefruit League game on March 1, allowing one run on three hits in two innings.
The Phillies selected the 6-foot-7 right-hander out of high school with the 13th pick of the 2021 MLB Draft.
Painter began the 2022 season at Low-A Clearwater and finished at Double-A Reading while posting a 1.56 ERA and striking out 39 percent of the batters he faced. pitching the Phillies rotation before turning 20 on April 10 was a rare feat: only four teenagers have thrown a home run in the big leagues since 1992.
How does the injury affect the development of the painter?
It’s not a worst-case scenario for Painter and the Phillies, but this diagnosis won’t ease long-term concerns about Painter’s future. While many UCL sprains can heal with rest, it’s possible that when Painter resumes his throwing program in April, he’ll still be in pain, and the club should reassess the situation.
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