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Phillies GM admits Chase Utley will begin year on disabled list

Mar 24, 2011, 12:16 PM EDT

chase-utley-phillies-spring Reuters

Confirming what has been expected for a while now, today Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. replied “I would think so” when asked if Chase Utley will begin the season on the disabled list because of his knee problems.

Amaro stopped just short of making it official, but said: “I haven’t seen him on the field yet and we’re a week away.”

Not having Utley in the Opening Day lineup is a big loss for the Phillies, but at this point his status for the entire season is uncertain. For now the Phillies continued to explore every possible non-surgical option, but there’s no timetable for his return and the possibility that he may need to go under the knife looms.

In the meantime Luis Castillo is auditioning to help fill in for Utley, with Wilson Valdes likely the primary replacement assuming he isn’t needed in place of Placido Polanco at third base.

  1. aronmantoo - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    With the loss of Jason Werth now this? The Phils offense doesn’t look so scarey

    • Jonny 5 - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:52 PM

      Naaa, It doesn’t look too Scary does it? Well it’s a good thing the pitching staff is downright Fearsome then huh?

    • kcq101 - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:33 PM

      It’s certainly not ideal for Chase to be out, compounded with Werth’s departure. But, when you say “so scary”, is this a comparison to last year?

      The Phils were seeming plagued with injuries affecting some of their more prominent offensive producers all of 2010, yet we remained in the top-10 in run production.

      Injuries aside, Chase didn’t have his best year, relative to his previous 3 seasons. His defense can be ~adequately supplemented with Valdez. I’d anticipate Chase being back a month to a month and a half from Opening Day. I think we can mitigate the “bleeding” with our pitching.

      Our biggest loss is Werth’s right-hand bat behind Howard. If Howard can stay productive, despite Werth not being behind him, the Phils can remain competitive (assuming a solid pitching staff throughout). Werth had great speed on the bags and defense that we can’t quite replace. But I believe it’s his right-hand threat behind Howard that we might miss the most.

      We shall see…

  2. cur68 - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    At least they didn’t carve up the poor kid’s knee. He’ll be ok once he takes the time to properly re-hab it.

    • smergaman - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:31 PM

      The problem is that he’s not a kid anymore. Chase is one of my fav all time Phillies but there’s only so many injuries that he can push through and still be effective. And a knee injury is never good no matter the players age.

      • cur68 - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:38 PM

        It’s a bit murky as to what’s actually wrong with that joint but the team did not report anything other than an inflammatory condition. It’s a bit like having tennis elbow; the joint isn’t damaged, just sore from overuse. There are a couple of excellent treatments that will provide long term relief and prevent a re-occurrence. If he’d taken the trouble to have this dealt with in the off season none of this would be going on now.

  3. Utley's Hair - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    I’m not worried. The rotation—I’ve heard that we have a couple of pretty good guys in there—will hold everything together. And Utley will be more rested for the late season push and playoffs.

  4. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    When will he exit the DL, is the question.

    • cur68 - Mar 24, 2011 at 2:05 PM

      Depends. With a shot of lubricant (synvisc) under the kneecap, some quadriceps strengthening exercises, diligent icing, re-warming and NSAIDS it takes most humans around 6 weeks to come back from chondromalacia (inflammation to the cartilage under the kneecap). Same for tendinitis of the patellar tendon, but you usually don’t need a shot of synvisc for that. I wish they were clearer as to what the issue is because they keep changing what they say is wrong. 1 thing I do know; it’s not the clap.

  5. Chris Fiorentino - Mar 24, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    Everybody just needs to calm down and relax.

    First, the Phillies offense was 2nd in the National League last year, with all the games lost to injury and down years for just about everybody in the lineup.

    Second, the NL Least is going to be worse, I don’t care how many prospects the Marlins bring up and how many people overrate the Braves. Remember, they have no closer. They have no old coot manager going out. They have a 35 year old pitcher 2 years removed from Tommy John surgery who has had one full season since. Let’s see him repeat what he did last year. The Mutts and Gnats are who we know they are…bad.

    Third, the Phillies have an historic starting pitching staff. You can argue whether they are the greatest assembly of 4 ever. OK, you want the Braves of the early 90’s that’s fine. But what did those Braves teams do? Win like 700 division titles in a row, right. The long 162 game season is going to be a breeze with this staff, just as it was for those Braves teams.

    The biggest question is the playoffs…as we saw in 2010, without a solid and consistent lineup, you can get beaten by an inferior team with great pitching in a 7 game series. Giants fans will continue to harp that they were the best team, but the fact is that going into the 2010 playoffs, Vegas had them at 10-1 to win the World Series while the Phillies were 2-1 for a reason…the Phillies had the most talent. Their hitting just sucked when it counted. Will it suck again?

    So Phillies fans…let’s enjoy the magic that will be this 2011 season. The Phillies will EASILY win 95-100 games in the NL Least. The biggest concern for me is the playoffs. That’s why Utley should get the surgery TODAY, get himself ready for September, and if he isn’t ready after the surgery, then he probably won’t be ready without it anyway.

    • cur68 - Mar 24, 2011 at 2:46 PM

      I like your optimism Chris. Couple minor things; the Gnats fans are stirring the tar as we speak, so get ready. And what surgery do you suggest for either patellar tendonitis or chondromalcia that is better than re-hab? My friends in the orthopedic community await a better option, so I’d love to pass this on. Other than that, you nailed it. The Philthies are simply going to OWN the division.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 24, 2011 at 2:53 PM

        I don’t profess to be a doctor, but there’s got to be something they can do besides just waiting to see if it gets better, isn’t there? If not, then I guess Chase should just retire tomorrow because if he isn’t going to get any better, then the classy thing to do(a la everybody’s hero Gil Meche) is to retire and not get paid to do nothing.

        p.s. that last part was sarcasm. I continue to be stunned at how little is being said in the baseball community about how much Meche screwed over his fellow union members. I guess what they are doing is ignoring it so that not much is made of it, which is probably the better path than ripping the guy. Especially considering all the back-slapping he received for doing what he did.

      • cur68 - Mar 24, 2011 at 3:09 PM

        “there’s got to be something they can do besides just waiting to see if it gets better, isn’t there?”

        Yes there is; (I quote myself from the reply to WhenMattStairsIsKing)
        “With a shot of lubricant (synvisc) under the kneecap, some quadriceps strengthening exercises, diligent icing, re-warming and NSAIDS it takes most humans around 6 weeks to come back from chondromalacia (inflammation to the cartilage under the kneecap). Same for tendinitis of the patellar tendon, but you usually don’t need a shot of synvisc for that”.

        This works nearly every time and the joint lubricant is an excellent preventative for runner’s knee (chondromalacia). Surgery will only put him out for longer and hasten arthritis and he doesn’t even need it.
        One caveat; I do NOT think the Phillys are being totally honest with this injury but they’ve only reported two possible conditions both of which are non-surgical.

        I’m not up on baseball union stuff so my opinion of Meche is honest bewilderment; I blew out a knee and lost any hope of ever playing pro sports. He mainly retired for lack of drive. I’d trade a kidney to be in his shoes.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 24, 2011 at 4:21 PM

        Do you guys ever let up on each other?

      • cur68 - Mar 24, 2011 at 4:33 PM

        Let up? Choo talking bout WhenMattStairsIsKing? T’was a friendly discussion (was for me at any rate). I just want to make it clear that Chris’s lad Utley is going to be probably ok. You want to see ‘ever let up’ wait till chrisny3 oozes into a conversation; ask that question then. If you can get a word in…

    • Jonny 5 - Mar 24, 2011 at 3:07 PM

      Chris, you obviously missed the fact that the Nats signed Ollie Perez. 😉

    • seeingwhatsticks - Mar 24, 2011 at 4:04 PM

      Glad to see you’re still not understanding how Vegas actually works. They set lines to try and get equal betting on all sides. When there’s a big boxing match and the lines move in the week before the fight, why do you think that happens? It’s not because there’s an injury that comes to light, or because they’ve changed their opinion on either of the fighters, it’s because the money is all on one side and they need to balance it out. Vegas doesn’t care who wins or try to make any predictions on who will win, they try to figure out where people want to put their money and give them incentives to put it elsewhere.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 24, 2011 at 4:20 PM

        Dude, I was born with a green $25 chip in my hand, so I certainly know how Vegas works. When they are posting lines on games, they do what you said. However, the long odds…meaning the long-term wagers, like Odds to win the Super Bowl, Odds to win the World Series, Total wins/losses, those are more true to what they actually think and they don’t change all that much unless there’s an injury(i.e. Wainwright’s injury took the Cardinals down from 87 1/2 to 82 1/2 or 83 depending on where you look)

        I’ll give you credit for typing up a post without using the word “Giants” in it though. Congrats…there’s a first time for everything I guess.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Mar 24, 2011 at 4:40 PM

        Why would Vegas treat long term wagers differently from short term wagers? What’s in it for them?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 24, 2011 at 4:45 PM

        Um, how about ALOT more money, that’s what is “in it for them”. A simple one game wager is a 10% vig. A long-term wager could be 10-1…could be 100-1. If Vegas really thought the Giants were that good, they would not have made them 10-1. They would have made them 2-1, like they did with the team they DID think was that good…the Phillies. They also made the Yankers 5-2(I believe…my memory could be a little fuzzy there). So Vegas was wrong about both the Phillies and the Yankers.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Mar 24, 2011 at 4:49 PM

        Vegas wasn’t “wrong” because Vegas isn’t predicting winners. What about that concept is not clear to you? Vegas is predicting where people will want to put their money. So their prediction isn’t that the Yankees or Phillies are more likely to win the World Series, the prediction is that more people will bet on Yankees and Phillies to win the World Series.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 24, 2011 at 4:53 PM

        You are confusing a one-game point spread with long-term odds. I have already explained it to you once and I’m not going to do it again. Just keep thinking the Phillies pitchers are all old and are going to break down while younger guys like Jurrgens on the Braves goes out with an inury today.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Mar 24, 2011 at 4:59 PM

        One more time. Vegas isn’t in the business of predicting winners and losers, they are in the business of predicting who we all think will be the winners and losers. Using Vegas odds as proof of anything is like using a Sportsnation poll as proof that one team is better than another.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 24, 2011 at 4:35 PM

      Haha, good, cur68. Sometimes when I comment on here, I do like to see follow-up comments, but sometimes my inbox blows up with asinine back-and-forths. Glad you and Chris are good :)

  6. thevandalen - Mar 24, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    I’m a huge Phillies fan but the whole ‘optimism’ angle is insane. He obviously knew about this in the off season, was rehabbing then, couldn’t go, is trying additional rehabbing options, and still can’t go, and will most likely have surgery. Hopefully he doesn’t get Sizemore’d with microfracture surgery is all I have to say.

    And don’t dismiss the Braves and one of the more underrated rotations in baseball (I don’t care what you say, Tommy Hanson is an ACE this season) or their bullpen. Having Kimbrel and Venters back there is a fine option and their offense is stacked.

    Thinking you can confidently go into the season without Chase and be fine is like thinking you can go into the playoffs with Boucher and Bobrovsky and not be nervous.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 24, 2011 at 3:29 PM

      You are falling into the “Braves are dangerous” trap. They got a miracle year out of Hudson and Wagner, and then Wagner rightfully retired. They are an 85 win team at best. Yeah, I like Hanson too and I’ll be drafting him on my fantasy team. But Hudson IS mid 30’s at 35 going on 36. Lowe will be 38 in June. Everyone likes to point out how “old” 3 of the 4 Aces are, but don’t point out that the Braves #1 and #3 are geriatric in their own right.

      Stop with the Braves already. They will be in the Wild Card hunt, as they were last year(they were just holding the top of the NL Least until the Phillies decided to play in late-July last year), but they will be lucky to win 85 games.

      • thevandalen - Mar 24, 2011 at 4:07 PM

        So let me get this straight… Tim Hudson and Billy Wagner made that team last year? Oh.

        85 games? You’re delusional.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 24, 2011 at 4:15 PM

        I hate using the stat “WAR” but they were 5.4 and 2.7 respectively last year, so, yeah, I guess you can say they were pretty valuable. Wagner saved 90+% last year I believe so he was pretty valuable locking down the W for them. This year’s closer is by committee and that usually doesn’t work all that well.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Mar 24, 2011 at 4:24 PM

        So Hudson’s 5.4 WAR at 34 is a fluke, but you’re expecting multiple 34 year old Phillies starts to put up even better numbers?

        Tim Hudson WAR by season in which he pitched 175+ innings (because WAR is heavily influenced by IP):

        00: 3.7
        01: 4.4
        02: 6.6
        03: 6.7
        04: 4.0
        05: 2.9
        07: 4.8
        10: 5.4

        Conclusion: When Hudson is healthy he’s an effective pitcher and a 5.4 WAR can hardly be considered a fluke, especially when he’s put up 2 seasons better than that in his career.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 24, 2011 at 4:32 PM

        First, kudos on yet another post without the word “Giants” in it.

        Second, get some facts and then come and see me.

        Name me ONE pitcher from the Phillies rotation who will start the season for them at 34? Can you? No. Why? Cause none of them will be 34. Halladay turns 34 in May and Oswalt turns 34 at the END of August.

        Hudson will be 36 in July. He has had Tommy John Surgery. His best years are 8 and 9 years ago.

        Yeah, I guess Halladay, Oswalt, and Lee, are just as injury prone as Hudson. My mistake.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Mar 24, 2011 at 4:35 PM

        Just for shits and giggles, those 6.6 and 6.7 WAR season Hudson put up are better than anything Hamels or Oswalt have ever done and Lee has only topped those marks once (2008, when he won the Cy Young).

        Average WAR per season:
        Lee: 2.46
        Hamels: 3.4
        Hudson: 3.85
        Halladay: 4.18
        Oswalt: 4.46

      • seeingwhatsticks - Mar 24, 2011 at 4:37 PM

        Baseball-Reference considers 2011 Hallday’s age 34 season, but I was wrong about Oswalt. 2011 will actually be Hudson’s age 35 season, so you just did the same thing I did.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 24, 2011 at 4:41 PM

        Um, no what you did was be WRONG about the Phillies’s starters ages. What I did was quote the FACTS. Halladay will be 33 when the season starts. He is just about 2 full years younger than Hudson, and last I checked, he didn’t have Tommy John Surgery a couple years ago. Oswalt is more than 2 full years younger than Hudson and he has started 30 or more game in 8 straight years.

        No, what you did was talk out of your ass. What I did was quote facts. Next time, do a little searching on a stat that we all can agree is pretty important, and that’s someone BIRTH DATE.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Mar 24, 2011 at 4:55 PM

        Yes, Hudson is currently 35 but he turns 36 in mid July which means he’s not 36 for enough of the season for it to be considered his age 36 season. 2011 is Halladay’s age 34 season because he will be 34 for more than half of it based on his May birthday. And oh by the way, since Hudson had not been born yet in May 1975 (Hallday was born May 1977) Hudson is not 2 full years older than Halladay. Those are the facts.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 24, 2011 at 4:59 PM

        me: “He is JUST ABOUT two full years younger than Hudson”(really 22 months younger)

        you: “Hudson is not 2 full years older than Halladay. Those are the facts.”

        LOL. You win.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Mar 24, 2011 at 5:07 PM

        Maybe if I USED MORE CAPS you’d have understood the point I was trying to make. I’ll work HARDER next time.

  7. bleedgreen - Mar 24, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    No mentions of Oswalt getting plunked in the neck yesterday?

    • cur68 - Mar 24, 2011 at 4:07 PM

      Nah, but over @ Off the Bench they have this piece of interesting Philly news. Cliff Lee’s in it too,

  8. rapmusicmademedoit - Mar 24, 2011 at 7:32 PM

    this dude has awesome hair, i wonder what shampoo he uses, his hair has great bounce
    on shines in the sun light, it is to die for.


    • cur68 - Mar 24, 2011 at 10:20 PM

      a hair crush? really?

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