The Philadelphia Phillies just won the National League pennant and came just two wins shy of celebrating a World Series win.
However, despite the recent success, they haven’t developed an ace since Aaron Nola made his debut in 2015.
Zack Wheeler was a free agent signing, and while Bailey Falter and Ranger Suarez are very solid, they are no aces.
We thought they had one in Spencer Howard and he failed to develop as hoped, becoming trade bait eventually.
Andrew Painter can very well be that ace their system has been lacking for a while.
That’s if he is healthy enough to pitch, though.
On Friday, he reported a tender elbow after a spring training start.
Fans were told there would be an updated report a day or two after that, with tests results and imaging being performed.
The fans are still collectively holding their breath, because the weekend and the first day of the new week have passed and there is still no update.
No update on Painter yet.
— Alex Coffey (@byalexcoffey) March 6, 2023
Sometimes, no update is an update in itself.
The team might be looking for second and third opinions because they didn’t like the first one.
It happens sometimes.
The team is certainly hoping there is no ligament damage because that could easily mean Tommy John surgery.
If that’s the case, we won’t see Painter probably until 2025.
It’s probably best to wait until the Phillies have something to report before jumping to conclusions, though.
Painter has a high-90s fastball with rise, and some excellent secondaries.
He rode those tools to an incredible seasons in the minors last year: he had a 2.54 ERA in Double-A in 28.1 frames.
That came after dominating Low-A and High-A.
If he can return soon, he has a good chance of making his MLB debut at some point in 2023.
His progress will be dictated by his injury, though.NEXT: Phillies Announcer Breaks Down The Team's Lineup