Centerpiece of Matt Olson trade, former Braves top prospect undergoes surgery

MLB: JUL 01 Nationals at Phillies

Former Braves top prospect and current Phillies centerfielder Christian Pache is set to undergo surgery to remove a screw from his right elbow, according to Alex Coffey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia’s manager Rob Thompson told reporters that he expects Pache to return this season and only miss a few weeks.

It’s an unfortunate update for one of the best people in the sport. Once upon a time, Pache was regarded as one of the top prospects in baseball before the Braves included him, along with Shea Langliers and others, in the deal to land Matt Olson.

Pache struggled mightily with the A’s last year, slashing just .166/.218/.241 in 91 games. Eventually, Oakland designated him for assignment during Spring Training earlier this year before trading him to the Braves’ NL East rivals just before Opening Day.

Fortunately for Pache and the Phillies, he’s had a career resurgence, slashing a much improved .327/.365/.592 in 53 plate appearances. Granted, it’s a tiny sample size, and this is his second surgery of the season. Pache initially missed six weeks after undergoing knee surgery in May but is looking much closer to the player the Braves hoped he could be. That kind of offensive production while playing excellent defense in centerfield is extremely valuable.

Obviously, I wish the Phillies nothing but the worse, especially against the Braves. However, Christian Pache is one of those players I will always root for; he’s as charismatic and genuine as one could be. Hopefully, this surgery isn’t serious and the setback is only minor.

Photographer: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire
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