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CLEARWATER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 23: Andrew Painter #76 of the Philadelphia Phillies poses for a portrait during media day at BayCare Ballpark on February 23, 2023 in Clearwater, Florida.

Right now, Andrew Painter’s health is the biggest thing on every Phillies fan’s mind. He was the biggest story coming into camp. There seemed to be a real chance a 19-year-old would start games for them in April. And he looked the part in his first spring training start. But then a vague report about elbow discomfort came out last week. To make it worse, it has been radio silence from the Phillies since. Which only led to fans assuming the worse. But are things as bad as fans think?

Yesterday Scott Lauber suggested it is not a big issue, and today, Hall of Fame baseball writer Jayson Stark echoed those sentiments.

“First thing is, unless people are misleading me, there is no indication this is anything serious. But it is definitely odd that we were supposed to get an update 5 days ago, and we still don’t have one.”

So that is yet another prominent baseball writer, letting us know it does not seem to be a reason to panic. Based on what both Jayson Stark and Scott Lauber told us, there is no secret injury they are hiding from us. But what is holding this up?

Well according to Stark, it could be that Painter’s agent Scott Boras is just being extra cautious.

“From what I can gather, the one way he has delayed this is that the wants the best elbow doctor in the country to take a look at Andrew Painter’s test results. Ive heard, that he has been tied up with the NFL Combine, so he has not looked at the results yet. At least that is what I have been hearing. That is only the scuttle butt, don’t hold me to it 100%, but that adds up.”

So based on what Stark told us, it is not serious. But Scott Boras, being the agent he is, is taking no chance with his 19-year-old client. Andrew Painter could one say get paid a lot of money. Boras is going to protect him.

So the good news is that Painter’s elbow does not appear to be a real issue. But this may get held up due to Scott Boras. The dream of Painter starting the year with the Phillies may be on hold. Still, if Stark is correct, we would take Painter just missing some time to start the season over what many fans feared the news would be.

You can listen to the full conversation with Jayson Stark below…

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The Team USA World Baseball Classic Roster

We are just a few days from team USA starting their World Baseball Classic journey. They will have some big shoes to fill after the last Team USA won it all back in 2017. But is this year’s team even more talented than the one that beat Puerto Rico 8-0 in the finals several years ago? The 2023 Team USA is stacked with talent. Some of them are even from the Phillies. And before we see them p[lay for the first time on Saturday night at 9 pm vs Great Britian, it is worth getting to know who we will be seeing suit up for the team. 

There are 3 former MVPs on the team. It was supposed to be 5, but Bryce Harper, unfortunately, had to bow out due to his injury that will keep him out for the first few months of the season. And Clayton Kershaw dropped out of pitching for Team USA too. But in their place, Team USA still has Paul Goldsmhidt, Mike Trout, and Mookie Betts. Between those 3 guys, there are 5 MVP trophies. Beyond that, 21 of the 30 players have made an All-Star team at least once in the MLB. And there are 45 total All-Star Game Appearances between them. 

Three Phillies made the team. NL HR champion Kyle Schwarber. Newest Phillie and fastest man in Baseball Trea Turner. And JT “Best Catcher in Baseball” Realmuto. 

Team USA used to struggle in the World Baseball Classic. They played just .500 ball over the first 3 tournaments. But now that they won the last one, there are increased expectations. Even with this star-studded lineup though, they are not the favorites. Japan and The Dominican Republic both enter with better odds to win it all. But with a team this stacked, you can never count them out. 

Here is everyone who will be suiting up for Team USA in the next few weeks as they try to repeat as Champions. 


  • Catcher

    JT Realmuto

    (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    • JT Realmuto (Phillies)
    • Will Smith (Dodgers)
    • Kyle Higashioka (Yankees)


    JT Realmuto is obviously the big name here. The two-time Gold Glover and three-time All-Star is considered by most to be the best catcher in all of baseball. he put up huge numbers in the second half for the Phillies last season to help get them to the playoffs, and carry them across the time Bryce Harper was out.

    Joining him is Will Smith from the Dodgers, who might lack the hardware and reputation of JT Realmuto. But he does have two straight seasons with 20+ Home Runs. behind them, Kyle Higashioka is not much of a threat with the bat. Though he makes for a solid backup catcher, who can flash the glove, throwing out 57% of the guys who tired to steal on him last year. But Realmuto and Smith should be expected to get most of the catching duties.

    It is the first WBC for all 3 catchers.


  • First Base

    Paul Goldschmidt

    (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    • Paul Goldschmidt (Cardinals)
    • Pete Alonso (Mets)


    Not bad when you have a guy who can hit 40 home runs coming off the bench. But that is what Team USA has. Reigning MVP Paul Goldschmidt will get primary duties at first base. But the fallback plan is not half bad either. As much as we hate Pete Alonso as Phillies fans, he can swing a bat. He may be a weirdo. But the man can knock balls into the outfield seats.

    Goldy has the better glove at first, so he will play first when in the lineup. But like the MLB, the WBC has a DH, so Pete Alonso could be one of many options for the DH.

    This will be Goldys second time at the WBC, after playing for them in 2017 too. But last time, he did not have the best of times. Goldschmidt hit just .077 in 2017. So hopefully he performs better this time. it will be Pete Alonso’s first World Baseball Classic though.


  • Middle Infield

    Trea Turner

    (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    • Trea Turner (Phillies)
    • Tim Anderson (White Sox)
    • Jeff McNeil (Mets)
    • Bobby Witt Jr (Royals)


    Getting to choose between Trea Turner and Tim Anderson at SS is a pretty good problem to have. In fact the middle infield for Team USA features 3 former Batting Champions. Anderson led the AL in batting average in 2019. Trea Turner the NL in 2021. And Jeff McNeil led the NL last year.

    Turner is one of the 5 fastest guys in the MLB, if not the fastest guy.

    Jeff Mcneil is the only guy on the Team USA roster with serious experience playing second base. So you should expect him to see most of the time there. But Mookie Betts has been working out at second base in Spring to prepare to play some second for Team USA. With a very crowded Outfield ( we will get to that) you can expect Mookie to spend some time there as well.

    Bobby Witt finished 4th in the Rookie of the Year race. He is a solid player, though not yet on the level with his fellow middle infielders. he does have experience at 3rd though, so he may spell Nolan Arenado at times. And Witt Jr has some experience playing on the international stage. He helped Team USA get a Gold Medal in the COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships. Witt Jr hit .576/.615/1.121 and knocked in 18 runs across nine games.

    None of these 4 players were on the 2017 team that won the last WBC.

  • Third Base

    Nolan Arenado

    (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    • Nolan Arenado (Cardinals)


    Other than Bobby Witt Jr, who mostly plays Shortstop but can play some third, Nolan Arenado is the team’s only 3rd Baseman. But if you are going to have just one third baseman, he is probably the guy you want. Arenado has won 10 straight Gold Gloves at third. he has finished top 5 in the NL MVP race 4 times. And he made the All-Star game in 7 of the last 8 seasons.

    Like his Cardinals teammate Goldschmidt, this will be Arenado’s 2nd WBC. He anchored down third base for the team the last time. And also like Goldy, he did not play well in the last WBC. Arenado hit just .61 with 1 HR  in 8 games in 2017.


  • Outfield

    Team USA Outfield

    (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)


    • Mike Trout (Angels)
    • Mookie Betts (Dodgers)
    • Cedric Mullins (Orioles)
    • Kyle Schwarber (Phillies)
    • Kyle Tucker (Astros)


    Now that is an outfield. Two MVPS. An NL HR Champ. Some gold gloves mixed in. Obviously, Trout will play CF. And with Mookie set to get some time at 2nd, Kyle Tucker could back him up in right. And although we all love Kyle Schwarber’s bat, we have seen him play the field enough to know he is probably better off at DH. But that is a lot of talent roaming the outfield for this team either way. It is all of their first time on the Team USA WBC roster.

    Notably missing are Bryce Harper and Aaron Judge. But outside them, having Trout, Betts, Schwarber all on one team is pretty crazy.

  • Starting Pitchers

    Adam Wainwright

    (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    • Laynce Lynn (White Sox)
    • Adam Wainwright (Cardinals)
    • Brady Singer (Royals)
    • Merrill Kelly (D-backs)
    • Kyle Freeland (Rockies)


    This might be the weakest part of Team USA unfortunately. Not that it is bad. There are some solid pitchers here. But they lack that true ace. Wainwright several years ago would be great. But he is 41. After that Lynn, Kelly, Singer, and Freeland are all middle-of-the-rotation guys. There are several MLB teams with better rotations than this. Whereas many of the teams they will face have top MLB guys leading their rotation. But with that said, the Team USA rotation was not stacked in 2017 either, and they still won. So it is not a death blow. The lineup can surely score enough runs to make up for it. And they have some really good fielding behind them too.

  • Relief Pitchers

    Devin Williams

    (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    • Jason Adam (Rays)
    • Daniel Bard (Rockies)
    • David Bednar (Pirates)
    • Kendall Graveman (White Sox)
    • Adam Ottavino (Mets)
    • Ryan Pressly (Astros)
    • Brooks Raley (Mets)
    • Devin Williams (Brewers)


    The bullpen is a bit better than the starting rotation. Devin Williams had a breakout year last year, replacing Josh Hader for the Brewers after they traded him, and not missing a beat. Adam Ottavino has been shut down out of the pen. As has Ryan Pressly. If the starters can give their pen a lead, the team could be in very good shape to hold on to it.