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Ryan Howard, Chase Utley take live batting practice

May 25, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT

utley ap AP

Ryan Howard and Chase Utley continue to inch their way back to playing shape. Yesterday Utley took batting practice and then some grounders. ¬†According to the report by Bob Brookover, however, the infield practice was limited and, given that playing second is what gives his knee the most trouble, there’s a lot of reason for tempering optimism.

Howard, however, played in what the Phillies call a simulated game on Wednesday and, between that and the other workouts he’s been doing, seems like he’s poised for a rehab assignment soon.

  1. drmonkeyarmy - May 25, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Galvis has been playing great recently. Sure he doesn’t have the bat Utley does (even though it is hard to argue with 22 RBI down in the line-up, even if his OPS is sub .700) but he is a magician in the field. The offense is bound to improve with those two back, but unless the top of the order starts getting on base at a reasonable clip the improvement won’t be nearly as much as I hope.

    • biasedhomer - May 25, 2012 at 4:16 PM

      Glavis was the reason Rollins was expendable, but the GM did not realize this.

  2. WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 25, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Maybe Utley can move to 3rd and Polanco/Galvis can man 2nd. Not like 3rd is a laid back position by any means, but he may be better off there without looking like an old man.

    • drmonkeyarmy - May 25, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      Utley can’t throw from third. They tried him there in AAA and he was horrid. Like Ryan Braun at 3rd horrid.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 25, 2012 at 11:27 AM

        What a shame. Maybe Utley and Howard can just share 1B and hope they don’t get killed.

  3. leftywildcat - May 25, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Start Chase’s return by platooning him at 3rd with Polanco, that was his original position. Leave Galvis at 2nd for the time being. Can’t wait to see Howard in the lineup, with Pence moved out of the #4 slot.

    • drmonkeyarmy - May 25, 2012 at 11:27 AM

      Again, Utley cannot play third base. He hasn’t played there in 10 years and was bad at it then. He has a hard time with throws from second, how can he make the throw from third. He can play first or second that is it. Maybe..maybe some LF where they can hide his arm somewhat.

      • Francisco (FC) - May 25, 2012 at 1:09 PM

        Hey, if Miggy can do it… nah, forget I said anything.

  4. natstowngreg - May 25, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Has anyone ever seen dead batting practice? Or, is that tee-ball?

    • drmonkeyarmy - May 25, 2012 at 11:48 AM

      Has anybody ever seen a live Nationals Park? Or, is that only when the Phillies come to town?

    • chadjones27 - May 25, 2012 at 11:48 AM

      Actually, yes. I’ve seen guys in the majors using a Tee. My guess to help with swing mechanics, foot placement, etc…

    • natstowngreg - May 25, 2012 at 3:39 PM

      FYI, Nats Park is getting more lively all the time. Winning does that.

      Wait until the Yankees come next month. The Yankees and Red Sox infestations make the Phillies infestation look like a church social.

    • natstowngreg - May 25, 2012 at 3:41 PM

      BTW, MLB players do practice hitting off tees on occasion. Though I was thinking more of 7-year olds hitting off tees. My question was rhetorical, since Craig used the term “live batting practice…”

  5. aceshigh11 - May 25, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    Chase Utley will never play another major league game.

    • xmatt0926x - May 25, 2012 at 1:33 PM

      I wouldn’t say never, but I do think we as Phillies fans are kidding ourselves into thinking he will ever play on a consistent basis again. He went to that specialist in Phoenix a while back and that was supposedly helping somewhat. Now it’s been about a month since he has come back to the team and he still can’t practice in the field with any consistency. Even if he decides to play with the pain he has now why would anyone expect that this degenerative condition will stay at the level it is now and not just get progressively worse as he starts trying to grind games out at 2nd base? Remember he came back last season and played and obviously the condition degenerated enough over the winter that it’s now in both knees and he can’t bend over to take grounders. We’re not insiders and usually you would trust what the organization says but these are the same people that said he was just taking spring games off so he could save his knees for the season. At this point I’d be shocked if they got 50 games out of him this year.

  6. Jeremiah Graves - May 25, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Chase Utley is exactly why the DH exists. Give the guy a few more years when his body is breaking down. It’s not for guys like Billy Butler who are just piss-poor defenders. Hopefully, we can find his way to the AL and prolong his career.

  7. Chris Fiorentino - May 25, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    The Phillies are playing brutal baseball. They have one of the worst bullpens I have ever seen. They are relying on trotting Heavy B out there every 5th day. They now have KK going out there every 5th day because of an injury to the Vanimal. They have a weak-hitting rookie playing 2nd. They are missing their “30/100 on an off year” cleanup hitter. Doc is having his worst year in almost a decade. Cliff Lee is 0-2 but has a 2.66 ERA. They let Rauuuuul go because he was “washed up”(on a pace for around 30/100 with the evil empire) and still are trying to hand Mayberry Jr.(on a pace for around 4/30) the job. Jimmy Rollins is hitting .233. They routinely put in scrubs like Chad Qualls and 50 year-old Contreras in pressure situations late in games with 1-2-3 run leads.

    And yet….

    They are 4 games out of first place.

    It’s going to be fun to see what happens when Doc comes around, Lee starts getting some support, J-Roll hits, Utley and Howard come back, the young guys get going in the bullpen, and Worley hopefully comes back and is able to pitch(I’d rather have him pitching in pain than KK).

    Because as bad as the “last-place” Phillies have played, being only 4 games out of first has to have fans of the rest of the NL Least feeling a little scared right now.

    • schmedley69 - May 25, 2012 at 2:54 PM

      You said it. The Phils are a perennially great second half team. The other teams in the East should be trying to bury them now before they get healthy, but they aren’t good enough to do it. They are all flawed themselves. Everyone is declaring the Phillies dead, including clueless morons like Thomas Boswell, but the Fightins will once again outclass the competition when it counts. The Phils have the pedigree, while the other teams in the division have nothing but unfulfilled potential. The Phils run will come to an end someday, but it’s not going to be this year. The Nats, Braves, Marlins and Mets don’t have what it takes to outlast the Phils in the marathon that is the MLB regular season.

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