By Sam Bush

Between a torn ACL in 2019 and then a tough time recovering from that injury in 2020, Andrew McCutchen enters the last guaranteed season of his three-year, $50 million contract with something to prove to the Phillies.

Like this home run on Saturday against the Braves:

https://www.mlb.com/phillies/video/andrew-mccutchen-homers-1-on-a-fly-ball-to-left-field-HbJMyh?t=t143-default-vtp

“I had a lot of catching up to do last season,” McCutchen told The Athletic, noting that it wasn’t until the Phillies’ last few games in September that he really felt comfortable.  Now, however, McCutchen is entering the year with the benefit of a full Spring Training, and there are no limitations for myself.  No hindrance.  No thinking, second-guessing.  Really pushing myself to where I didn’t I feel like I had to guard….So, going into this spring, I was just saying, ’I feel like myself.  I can squat and play and do what I need to do here in the games.’ ” 

It’s a good sign for McCutchen as he enters his age-34 season as the Phils’ regular left fielder, and he also pointed out that there aren’t many everyday outfielders of his age remaining in a sport that has become increasingly less inclined to regularly play veteran players.