Skip to content

Charlie Manuel on Chase Utley’s spring debut: “It’s going to be a while yet”

Mar 6, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

utley ap AP

Placido Polanco is recovered enough from offseason hernia surgery to make his spring training debut yesterday, but Chase Utley remained out of the Phillies’ lineup with no immediate plans for his return to game action.

Manager Charlie Manuel told Todd Zolecki of that “it’s going to be a while yet” before Utley debuts and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. indicated that the Phillies might hold him out for the first two weeks in an effort to keep his chronic knee problems in check.

Asked if Utley is healthy, Amaro replied:

He seems fine. We’re just taking things slowly with him. There’s no reason to start putting the pounding on his knees that typically he would have during this time. There’s no reason to start that process now when we can start it a little bit later on.

That makes sense, but the extreme caution and focus on limiting Utley’s mileage sure makes it seem like the Phillies believe his knees are in pretty bad shape overall.

  1. mdpickles - Mar 6, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Starting to look like the Phils will be utilizing a 7 man infield. Freddy Galvis needs to make the team coming out of spring because Michael Martinez cannot fill in at 3b and 2b on a consistent basis.

    • drunkenhooliganism - Mar 6, 2012 at 12:16 PM

      Galvis needs to play everyday and hopefully get another full season in the minors. Wigginton is past his prime as a third basemen, and well past his prime as a 2nd basemen. But he can still play 3rd a little bit and 2nd if needed.

      • Jonny 5 - Mar 6, 2012 at 1:16 PM

        Galvis has looked pretty awesome defensively in spring training so far.

      • drunkenhooliganism - Mar 6, 2012 at 1:38 PM

        Jonny- The scouts have been saying that his defense was Major League ready when he was 18. His offense was brutal until last year though.

  2. xpensivewinos - Mar 6, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    …certainly if they’re not even finding ways for him to get at-bats.

  3. captainwisdom8888 - Mar 6, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    As a Phils fan, it’s scary to think that we should probably look into turning the page on Utley, Howard, and Rollins. These three pillars of our franchise will give way sooner rather than later and the greatest era of Phillies baseball will sadly be over with.

    • greymares - Mar 6, 2012 at 5:55 PM

      this era won’t be over until the Phillies are without Halliday,Lee and Hammels, period.

  4. bjavie - Mar 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Several weeks ago I commented that we Phillies fans would look back on this offseason and wonder why the team didn’t do more to add a veteran infielder. I noted that by year’s end Mike Martiniez will have started 120 games overall at 2b, 3b, SS. I received more thumbs down for my comments than I did thumbs up.

    I’d like to revisit that.

    Unfortunately, Mike Martinez is the most important person on the Phillies roster and his stats are those of a AAA situational player.

  5. deathmonkey41 - Mar 6, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    FOX needs to change it’s stance and start interviewing Charlie in the dugout during games instead of the pitching or hitting coach. It’s an outrage that we are being robbed of Charlieisms.

  6. randygnyc - Mar 6, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Outside of pitching, why would any teams be afraid of the phillies. Do they have any real offensive threats? Seems like all their stars are in rapid decline through age and/or injury.

    • El Bravo - Mar 6, 2012 at 12:46 PM

      Time: the Phillies’ biggest opponent.

      • cur68 - Mar 6, 2012 at 12:49 PM

        I thought Utley’s Knees were?

      • El Bravo - Mar 6, 2012 at 12:57 PM

        But, you see, time is what will destroy said knees…his injury seems a lot like Peyton Manning’s in that the damage is done, cannot be undone, and now coping is their only option to resuming their respective careers. It’s kinda sad, but I don’t expect either of these two super athletes to ever fully recover. I like Utley (and Manning), so I hope I’m wrong.

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 6, 2012 at 1:05 PM

        But his Hair is still all kinds of awesome…as is that wife of his…

      • El Bravo - Mar 6, 2012 at 1:26 PM


      • cur68 - Mar 6, 2012 at 1:38 PM

        Who is this “Manning” of whom you speak? Charlie Manning, the career minor leaguer, is the only current one Baseballrefs list. If so, I’m sorry to hear he hurt his neck: get well soon Charlie. Any word on what he was doing? Rubbernecking girls? It seems he’s a free agent (since 2009, yet), so pitching couldn’t have hurt him.

        Anyhow, Utley’s Knees are nowhere near as shiny-new as his hair, so unfortunately, I think you’re going to be right: time and wear & tear will take their toll. Cholly’s right to save Utley from ST, IMO. Ease him in, give him days off, and let him play more as the season progresses. Come August, he’ll be in better shape for the playoff run.

    • paperlions - Mar 6, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      A top 5 of Rollins, Utley, Howard, Pence, and Victorino (in some order) is a pretty good top 5…but yeah, age and health should be major concerns for 3 of those guys.

    • philsbirdsflyers - Mar 6, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      “Outside of pitching?” As in “outside the historically most important aspect of baseball?” Teams are afraid of the Phillies because they’ve invested more into their starting rotation than any other team – as opposed to loading up on offense. 102 wins speaks for itself, and I’ll take my chances with Halladay/Lee/Hamels with any offense come playoff time.

  7. randygnyc - Mar 6, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Phillies starters could throw 81 no hitters this year and finish .500 this year with their offense. Also, hamels DEFINITELY hits the open market after this season. He’s not giving any discounts. 6 years for 120 million. Might even wind up in the Bronx.

    • Jonny 5 - Mar 6, 2012 at 1:24 PM

      The Phillies had the second best run differential of any mlb team last season. Right behind the Yankees. Now they get a whole season of Pence, and hopefully Utley to help things along. You know not what you say troll boy. 😉

    • drmonkeyarmy - Mar 6, 2012 at 2:15 PM

      Also, from the All-Star break on they scored the second most runs in the NL after the Cards. So, all this talk of a terrible offense is woefully misinformed.

  8. professor59 - Mar 6, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    With run production down 100 runs from 2 yrs ago, and Howard out indefinitely, I think we’ll be getting to 90+ wind the hard way, with a lot of 2-1 games.
    Those big names in the lineup may sound good, but only because it’s easier to remember their best past years.

    • professor59 - Mar 6, 2012 at 1:57 PM

      *wins, not wind. If the Phillies experienced 90+ MPH WIND, then Howard might be the ONLY player left on the field!

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 6, 2012 at 2:35 PM

        Remember that 10 minute long typhoon they had a couple summers back? And that game when they moonlighted as the Rockies grounds crew?

    • ame123 - Mar 6, 2012 at 1:59 PM

      EVERY team is collectively down from 2 years ago, as offense is baseball is in a total decline.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. G. Stanton (2301)
  2. B. Crawford (2286)
  3. Y. Puig (2261)
  4. G. Springer (2021)
  5. D. Wright (1990)
  1. J. Hamilton (1960)
  2. J. Fernandez (1958)
  3. D. Span (1904)
  4. H. Ramirez (1856)
  5. C. Correa (1816)