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Chase Utley could head to extended spring training soon

May 3, 2011, 7:57 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks Getty Images

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel told David Hale of the Wilmington News Journal earlier today that he believes Chase Utley could soon head to extended spring training to continue his rehab.

Utley has picked up workouts over the past week and has participated in two brief simulated games over the past three days.

“It might be time to let him go somewhere, like Clearwater or something, and start getting into a broader, bigger routine,” Manuel said. “I think he’s doing much better. He’s getting there in how he responds after he does that kind of workout like he did the last couple days. That’s what counts. I definitely think he’s closer than what he was a week or two weeks ago.”

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro said there are no set plans to send Utley to extended spring training, but indicated that they’ll know more when they see how the knee responds tomorrow.

“He seemed to do OK again today, and if he’s feeling well tomorrow, we’ll try to take the next step,” Amaro said.

Entering play Tuesday, Phillies’ second basemen have combined to bat just .235/.286/.276 with zero homers, four doubles and a .561 OPS over 98 at-bats so far this season.

  1. halladaysbicepts - May 3, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    God knows we need him. I believe he will be back in the lineup by the 3rd week of May after a week or so in Clearwater. Once he comes back, here’s my everyday lineup:

    Mayberry Jr.

    Need some power to protect Howard, so Utley makes sense, regardless of lefty/righty pitching.

    • macjacmccoy - May 3, 2011 at 8:49 PM

      Insane. No way Charlie Manuel the most loyal (to a fault) manager in baseball puts Utley at 5. Its not gonna happen. Maybe for a week or 2 until he gets his swing back but it wont be an everyday season long thing. You put your best hitter in the 3 spot and even though Polanco is hitting great right now he isnt close to being on Utley’s level.

      • halladaysbicepts - May 3, 2011 at 8:59 PM

        “You put your best hitter in the 3 spot and even though Polanco is hitting great right now he isnt close to being on Utley’s level.”

        Insane? You must be joking. Polanco is a .304 lifetime hitter compared with Utley at .298. Small difference, but you cannot say he isn’t even close to Utley. And Chase is my favorite player.

        Where Utley has the obvious advantage is his power. In a lineup that is depleted of power, I want Utley protecting Howard.

        I understand that Charlie is loyal, sometimes to a fault. But the lineup that I suggested makes the most sense, in my opinion.

        My lineup probably won’t be the end result, but it should be.

    • Chooch51Ruiz - May 3, 2011 at 9:29 PM

      This is not a good lineup polanco is a great #2 hitter, throw utley back into the 3 spot, no reason why he should hit fifth just does not make sense for a player of his ability

      • halladaysbicepts - May 3, 2011 at 9:43 PM

        There has been some great 5 hole hitters in the history of the game. It’s not a demotion for Chase. If the Phillies had a power option to protect Howard, then, yes, Utley should hit third. But this is no longer the case. This lineup is different now with the absence of Werth. That being said, you put Utley 5th. You allow Victorino, Rollins and your best contact hitter, Polanco to get on base so Howard and/or Utley can drive them home. 4th and 5th hole hitters should be the guys with the best power.

      • xmatt0926x - May 3, 2011 at 9:49 PM

        Agree with Chooch51ruiz. Polanco 2nd, Utley 3rd. you’ll see Charlie speak perfect kings english or David Herndon actually get someone out before you see Utley at the 5 spot and you know those 2 things won’t happen anytime soon. Protection after Howard is good but charlie is right on when he says that it’s also just as important to have runners on in front of Howard. Either way lets just hope Utley is back soon and that Herndon, Zagurski, and Kendrick are sent out in the ocean in a leaky boat.

    • prionogenic - May 4, 2011 at 2:01 AM

      Protection is overrated, and if you believe a sabermetrics devotee, non-existent.

      You want your best hitter in the 3 spot, Chase has the best combination of average and power on the team. If guys get on in front of him, he has the power to drive them in, which Polly, though a great contact hitter doesn’t give you. Also, Chase is an excellent baserunner and basestealer, which would be desirable in front of your clean up hitter.

      Also, you don’t want him in the 5 hole because over the course of a season, the #3 hitter will probably get 20-30 more AB’s than the #5 hitter, which could mean a couple more HR and 7-10 more hits.

      • cktai - May 4, 2011 at 5:44 AM

        Actually you want your best hitter on #1, #2 or #4. The first two will have resp. 60 or 45 more ABs then the #5 hitter and 30 or 15 more then the #3 hitter. While the #4 will either hit with people on base in the first inning, or lead off in the second inning.

        I’d go with Victorino, Utley, Polanco, Howard, Francisco, Ibanez/Mayberry, Ruiz, Pitcher, Rollins

  2. bleedgreen - May 3, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    and he just hit another double with an rbi.

  3. bleedgreen - May 3, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    Wow fail. I just replied in the wrong story.

  4. Jonny 5 - May 4, 2011 at 8:43 AM

    Come back Utley!!!

    • Utley's Hair - May 4, 2011 at 11:46 AM

      [In best Lurch voice possible] You rang…?

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