Andrew McCutchen had his screening for COVID-19 Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park and was back at the ballpark Friday as the Phillies had their first full-squad workout of summer camp.
He is feeling good, says the knee is strong and was glad, in a way, that he had so much more time to rehab coming off an ACL tear.
"I didn't get through the rehab process by just trying to get ready, I actually was able to take my time and really tinker with small things because there wasn't a season right away," the Phillies left fielder told NBC10's John Clark Thursday. "I was able to really take my time and hone in to my rehab process. It was really good for me to be able to do that. It set me up to be ready for the season.
"Ultimately, I wasn't going to be playing 162 regular-season games anyway this year. Maybe I would have only missed 20 games during the regular season this year had all this stuff not happened, or maybe I would have had a period where (my knee) was barking for a week.
"It may be better because I'm working out every day. I'm the opposite of some of those gym rat guys who go in the gym and do nothing but upper body. I was doing straight lower body every day I came to the stadium."
McCutchen was busy during baseball's shutdown between rehab, family time, keeping Uncle Larry in check and keeping up to date with MLB's negotiations with players. Those negotiations took far too long and sucked the joy out of the sport for many.
McCutchen was bothered by how it all went down and was bothered again by commissioner Rob Manfred's comment earlier in the week that MLB wasn't ever going to play more than 60 regular-season games this season.
Manfred later clarified that he was referring to "the way things unfolded with the second spike" of coronavirus.
"All of the negotiations, it got in the way of what we wanted to do which was play baseball," McCutchen said. "I recently saw and heard the commissioner say that we were gonna be playing no more than 60 games regardless of the negotiations back and forth, that it didn't matter what we were doing. So my question to that was then why did we do it in the first place? Why did we damper and put a cancer into the game that didn't need to be there?
"The integrity of this game was in a great place and we backtracked quite a bit. Just losing some of the fanbase in a sense just because we let the negotiations get in the way of the importance of actually trying to get out onto the field. It was a very tricky situation we were all in. I hate that it happened the way it did. We can learn from this situation. Nobody's perfect. Negotiations always happen. There's a way of going about it. Hopefully, this is something we all learn from."
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