The Philadelphia Phillies were banking heavily on the emergence of top pitching prospect Andrew Painter this season.
However, it appears that an elbow injury he suffered earlier in the week is causing some problems for the right-hander.
According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, Painter has a tear in his UCL.
The Phillies don’t appear to be considering Tommy John surgery as an option at this point.
Instead, Painter will sit out for a month and begin a light throwing program to see if he can ultimately pitch through it.
Passan announced the news of the situation with Painter on Twitter.
Top Phillies prospect Andrew Painter has a tear in his UCL, the team announces. He'll sit out for a month and then start a light throwing program to see if he can pitch through it.
— Jeff.eth (@JeffPassan) March 10, 2023
This is bad news for the Phillies.
The defending National League champions had banked heavily on Painter becoming a steady force in their starting rotation.
Instead, he’ll be out for a month at the very least.
More than likely, the injury will end up requiring surgery of some sort, either Tommy John or standard UCL surgery, which would most likely keep Painter out for the entire season.
Philadelphia does have a solid rotation featuring Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Ranger Suarez, and Taijuan Walker.
The signing of Walker appears to have been a very smart move as of now.
The Phillies do have a few in-house options waiting in the wings.
Left-hander Bailey Falter could potentially grab the fifth spot in the starting rotation, as could Christopher Sanchez.
Veteran lefty Mike Minor also remains unsigned and could be added as a depth piece if the Phillies end up losing Painter for the entire season.NEXT: Bryce Harper Comments On His Contract Situation