Philadelphia Phillies top prospect Andrew Painter is expected to miss the start of the season with a UCL tear, per Jeff Passan. Painter is the No. 6 overall prospect, according to MLB.com, and the starting pitcher was expected to compete for a spot in the Phillies' major league rotation.
While UCL tears are sometimes synonymous with Tommy John surgery, that isn’t guaranteed with Painter’s initial outlook. His partial tear is proximal, and this is important because in a study on UCL injuries, 17 of 19 pitchers with proximal tears avoided surgery. The current plan for Painter is to shut him down for a month and then ease him into a light-throwing program to see if he can manage the injury.
Painter was drafted 13th overall in the 2021 MLB Draft. He progressed through Single-A, High-A and Double-A in his second season year. Overall through 2022, Painter combined for a 6-2 record with a 1.56 ERA and 155 strikeouts in 103 2⁄3 innings. His success resulted in Philadelphia naming him their Minor League Player of the Year. Despite only having one full season under his belt, he had pitched so well that the team considered him major-league-ready for the 2023 season.