PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - AUGUST 25: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on during the game against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on August 25, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Former MLB MVP Tears Achilles One Home Run Away from 300

Pittsburgh Pirates star and former MLB MVP Andrew McCutchen will miss the rest of the season while sitting at 299 career home runs.

Andrew McCutchen — a five-time All-Star, 2013 NL MVP and the Pittsburgh Pirates' current designated hitter — posted, "I'm fine" on X on Monday night after the Pirates' 4-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. He did so because he exited the game after limping into second base upon hitting an RBI double. 

Nearly two days later, McCutchen quoted that initial X post, saying, "Well, no I'm not. Dang this sucks" — alluding to a partially torn left achilles tendon he suffered during that double. 

The tear — which was discovered by Pirates' Director of Sports Medicine Todd Tomczyk, and confirmed by ESPN — will end McCutchen's 2023 season. While the 36-year-old Pittsburgh legend was putting together a solid campaign — hitting 12 home runs, getting 43 RBIs and collecting his 2,000th career hit in June — the injury is most tragic because it comes right before another historic milestone: 300 career home runs.  

McCutchen currently has 299 MLB home runs. And since he's scheduled to be a free agent during this offseason, there was concern on social media and around the Pirates clubhouse that the injury could be the end of his storied career — and keep him out of MLB's 300 home run club. However, Jason Mackey, Pirates beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, posted a McCutchen quote on X on Wednesday, saying, "Andrew McCutchen: 'I'm not gonna go out like this. I wanna continue to keep playing and push through this, let this heal and be ready to go for 2024."'

McCutchen's refusal to finish his career via injury is great news for all baseball fans. While McCutchen's heyday came during his first Pirates tenure, from 2009-2017, he also played for the San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers from 2018-22 before returning to Pittsburgh in 2023.

McCutchen has earned a reputation for being a world-class teammate and first-rate human being everywhere he has played. In fact, McCutchen won MLB's Roberto Clemente Award in 2015, which is given to the MLB player who "best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field."

Whenever McCutchen decides to retire, baseball will be losing one of its best ambassadors. Luckily, that doesn't seem to be imminent. For now, all we can do is wish him well with his recovery and prepare to celebrate that 300th home run when he hits it next season.

MORE: Andrew McCutchen Proposed to His Wife on "Ellen"