McCutchen, who was placed on the 10-day injured list Wednesday, will reportedly remain in a walking boot for six weeks, with only three-and-a-half weeks remaining in the Pirates' 2023 schedule. The 65-75 Pirates are all but eliminated from playoff contention.
The injury occurred during the Pirates' game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday, when McCutchen was announced to have left due to left Achilles tendon tightness. He initially reported on social media that he was fine, but he changed his tune Wednesday in very McCutchen fashion:
Well, no I’m not😞. Dang this sucks https://t.co/E02vqd8JPD
— Andrew McCutchen (@TheCUTCH22) September 6, 2023
McCutchen is in his first season back in Pittsburgh, where he played the first nine years of his career and won NL MVP in 2013. Working mostly as a designated hitter with occasional appearances in right field, he was enjoying his best season at the plate in years, hitting .256/.378/.397 with 12 homers and 11 stolen bases.
McCutchen hasn't posted an on-base percentage that high since 2015 or an OPS+ as high as his 112 mark since 2019.
With McCutchen now 36 years old, a serious injury such as this brings up the uncomfortable possibility of retirement, but the player told reporters Wednesday that he hasn't thought much about the future since the diagnosis:
"I haven't thought about [returning to the Pirates in 2024], considering this is still pretty fresh. I haven't really thought too much about it, besides where I'm at at this moment. I'm sure when I get some more time, I'lll have time to think about it. Mind's still going 100 mph right now, so just trying to think about what's the next step for me."
McCutchen, who has also played for the San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers, has good reason to get at least a few more games in, as he is currently sitting at 299 career home runs.