Painter getting tests after elbow tenderness

March 4th, 2023

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies top prospect Andrew Painter was sent for tests on his right elbow after feeling some discomfort when he reported to camp on Thursday, one day after his impressive spring debut.

"Andrew Painter came in with a little tender elbow yesterday," manager Rob Thomson said following Friday afternoon's 6-3 loss to the Tigers at BayCare Ballpark. "So we don't have any results, but we sent him out for some tests and we'll have more information [Saturday] on it."

Thomson did not have an update on Saturday, but he hopes to have one on either Sunday or Monday.

Painter topped out at 99 mph while tossing two innings on Wednesday against the Twins in Fort Myers. The No. 6 overall prospect in baseball entered the spring as one of the favorites to earn the final spot in the Phillies' rotation.

“Felt pretty good,” Painter said after that outing. “Felt satisfied with the cutters I threw. It was pretty fastball-heavy today."

Painter, who will turn 20 years old on April 10, wasted no time this spring showing why he was the Phillies' Minor League Pitcher of the Year last season -- and why he entered camp with a legitimate shot to make the Opening Day rotation. He not only showcased his elite fastball by uncorking a 99 mph heater to Carlos Correa on Wednesday, but he also struck out Max Kepler by getting him to flail at a nasty cutter.

“I believe this kid’s going to be a star,” Correa said after facing Painter.

Painter, the 13th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, went 6-2 with a 1.56 ERA in 22 starts last season across three levels of the Minors in his first full professional season. He racked up 155 strikeouts and walked only 25 batters over 103 2/3 innings.

Though he topped out at Double-A Reading, where he made just five starts, Painter is battling to win the final starting spot behind Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Ranger Suárez and Taijuan Walker. The other top candidates for the role are Bailey Falter and Cristopher Sánchez, though Michael Plassmeyer and Griff McGarry (the Phillies' No. 3 prospect) are also in the mix.