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Chase Utley hopes to play in a game next week

Mar 17, 2012, 6:00 PM EDT

Chase Utley Reuters Reuters

Chase Utley finally broke his silence earlier this afternoon and while he didn’t say much, he told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that he would like to play in a game next week.

The Phillies always planned to bring Utley along slowly this spring due to his chronic right knee condition, but there are some minor signs that things that haven’t gone according to plan. The 33-year-old second baseman takes batting practice pretty regularly, but as David Hale of the News Journal notes, he backed off taking grounders after feeling pain in his knee early in camp.

Phillies’ general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. continues to express optimism about Utley being ready for Opening Day, but we won’t know much about his status until he begins pushing himself in game action. It’s believed that he’ll need somewhere around 40 to 50 at-bats in order to be ready for the start of the season, so he could be eased into action as a designated hitter on the minor league side before picking up the intensity by playing defense in major league games.

Utley began last season on the disabled list due to his knee condition and didn’t make his debut until May 23. He ended up batting .259/.344/.425 with 11 homers, 44 RBI, 14 stolen bases and a .769 OPS over 454 plate appearances in the regular season and .438 (7-for-18) with two doubles, one triple and one RBI during the NLDS against the Cardinals.

  1. drmonkeyarmy - Mar 17, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    I’m not linking this at all. Now, Polanco has some sort of finger issue that I am sure will linger. The thought of an opening day infield of Mayberry Jr., Freddy Galvis, Jimmy, and Ty Wigginton is really distressing and appalling to me.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Mar 17, 2012 at 6:18 PM

      Liking this not linking this. Damn basketball is turning my brain into mush.

  2. sgtr0c - Mar 17, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Considering the last two World Series winners, they sound right on par to win it all. More important to be hot then good. But the last two were NL, so it is prolly the AL’s turn to win it, Yank’s, Ranger, a hot AL team…. I want it to start already!

  3. astrosfan75956 - Mar 17, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    That infield is pedestrian at best with all those injuries.

  4. eastcoastblows - Mar 17, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    Philadelphia is where America goes to vomit

    • drmonkeyarmy - Mar 17, 2012 at 8:36 PM

      Quality post. Thanks for keeping it baseball related.

      • paperlions - Mar 17, 2012 at 8:51 PM

        There is a definite theme emerging. I can only assume it is performance art as no matter what the topic he simply posts “I am an asshole”.

    • greenkeeper15 - Mar 17, 2012 at 9:31 PM

      philadelphia where america was born d.ck head

  5. mungman69 - Mar 18, 2012 at 7:18 AM

    America wasn’t born in Philly. The United States was born in Philly. Anyway, It doesn’t look good for the Phillies infield. Even if these starters play they will have no range. There will be no low ERA’s and not many runs scored. Hey, the Phillies might not even win the division (Atlanta).

    • mercyflush - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:42 AM

      “America wasn’t born in Philly. The United States was born in Philly.”

      what a hipster d-bag thing to say.

  6. kahunanc - Mar 18, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    Age catching up with Phils. However there may be one last run left for this team. Like the NFL it looks like hot team at the end has the inside track. We will go as far as our pitching will take us.

    • paperlions - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:22 AM

      Of course the “hot team” during the playoffs will win, that has always been the case.

      While the age of their position players should be a concern, Utley is really the only one with a chronic condition, the others are relatively healthy or recovering from a specific injury. I do think they peak years as a team are passed, but with their pitching…they should be just fine in 2012….the Marlins have not improved that much (they had a long way to go), the Mets are horrible, the Braves ownership is going to make it difficult for them to win, and the Nats are still a year or 2 away.

  7. phillyburgh - Mar 19, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Stop hating on the phillies , there gonna be just fine! Pitching pitching pitching

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