It looks like the Philadelphia Phillies have dodged a bullet. Top prospect Andrew Painter underwent an MRI on March 3rd for his sore right elbow. The imaging showed a sprained ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) and the diagnosis was confirmed by renowned surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
The good news, Painter should be able to avoid Tommy John surgery.
Painter will rest for about a month and slowly begin a throwing program around the beginning of April. From there, the Phillies and team doctors will recommend a course of action for the young pitcher. An extended Spring Training stay for Painter is likely.
The 19-year old phenom made his Grapefruit League debut last week against the Twins. Painter commanded the strike zone, throwing 18 of his 29 pitches for strikes and topping out in the high 90’s with his fastball. There was a belief in camp that Painter had the early lead for the fifth and final spot in the Phillies rotation.
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