Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen is reportedly on the mend


Although some fans are needlessly fretting over his health heading into 2015, Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is reportedly on the mend after missing most of the last week with what has been described as “lower body soreness.”

McCutchen took part in pregame drills on Tuesday for the first time since last week, telling reporters afterward that he “felt fine,” – a promising sign for the veteran outfielder who is coming off his lowest total games played during his big league career – 146.

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However, with roughly three weeks until Opening Day, McCutchen isn’t rushing things, telling pretty much everyone (including MLB.com) who will listen that he’s going to take this step-by-step and not rush back from the injury, regardless of missing spring action.

"“Taking it slow. No point in rushing it,” McCutchen said. “Just keep going, doing the same stuff, taking my time. Rather safe than sorry."

Last season, the former first-round pick of the Pirates once again paced the offense, racking up another Silver Slugger Award, an All-Star selection and a third-place finish in the National League MVP voting – trailing only Clayton Kershaw, the eventual winner, and Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins.

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He batted .314 with a league-leading .410 on-base percentage to go along with his .542 slugging percentage – most of which culminated from another 25 home runs and 38 doubles added to his ledger. The 38 two-baggers were a career-high for McCutchen, who may have set a new career-best in long-balls, as well, if not for the time missed.

Although he was off to a slow start this spring, batting just .167 in a dozen Grapefruit League at-bats, McCuctchen seems unfazed by the prospect that missing action this spring could impact him come the regular season. For now, he remains focused on recovery – something he says could take some time.

"“I’m going out and not feeling any type of hindrance from anything. Until that [soreness] gets out of the system, just going to take it day by day and go from there.”"

Given he’s still got plenty of time to recover and be well-rested for the regular season grind, Pirates fans needn’t worry about McCutchen’s soreness. If anything, this will have him in a better place for when games start to matter – and keep him feeling fresh in the dog days of summer.

So, relax, Pittsburgh. Andrew McCutchen will be ready for Opening Day. Just give him some time.