Utley Has Surgery, Out Eight Weeks

Chase Utley had surgery today in New York to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb.

The Phillies said he will miss approximately eight weeks. Hand specialist Andrew Weiland will perform the surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

(Read the full story here.)

Utley injured his thumb Monday, sliding head first into second base in the fourth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Utley remained in the game until he could not grip his bat in the ninth-inning.

Utley had hit .367 with one home run and 11 RBIs in his last 13 games. It’s obviously a major blow for the Phillies, but it is not unexpected. Teammates had said over the past couple days they expected him to miss a significant period of time.

Utley has done a good job in the past coming back from injuries. He broke his hand in 2007. He had surgery July 27, 2007, with the timetable to return three to four weeks. He returned Aug. 28. Utley had hip surgery following the 2008 season, with the timetable to return four to six months. He had the surgery Nov. 24, which meant he might not have been back until late May 2009. Utley was ready by Opening Day.

The Phillies traded for second baseman Tadahito Iguchi in 2007, when Utley missed a month. It would seem they need a second baseman or third baseman – Placido Polanco is on the disabled list with inflammation in his left elbow, and his timetable to return is unknown – but Proefrock downplayed the urgency to get help.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily a situation where we have to go get somebody,” Proefrock said.

But he said they are talking about it. Names that have been mentioned include Ty Wigginton, Miguel Tejada and Kelly Johnson.

“We’re always looking to improve the club,” Proefrock said. “It’s a continual process. That hasn’t changed. We talk about those kinds of things every day, so maybe the focus is a little different than it was.”

Polanco got a second opinion today from orthopedist David Altchek in New York. The Phillies said he will miss three to four weeks. 

“We’re not the only team that has injuries,” Proefrock said. “We’ve got a tremendous amount of talent still out on the field, and they need to step it up and do their jobs. (Wilson) Valdez has filled in very well when Jimmy (Rollins) was out at shortstop. He’s already done very well the first couple times he’s been at second base. Dobber (Greg Dobbs) has proven that when he gets to play regularly he can be a productive offensive player. He’s going to get that opportunity again. We just need everybody to do their jobs.”

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

10 Comments

With all of these injuries, where would the Phillies be without Roy Halladay?

With all the injuries we’ve had this year, we should stop complaining about Rube. We’re only a few games out and if we can stay close until Polanco and Utley come back we have a great chance. It’s Rube who got us Valdez, Castro, Schneider, etc who have filled in so well this year. Being a GM is not only about prospects and big names, but mainly about the little guy stuck in AAA ready to fill in. He’s done great in that respect and deserves credit for it.

Why should we stop criticizing Junior? It was only three years ago that the Phillies were able to reach down to AA to get Kendrick. Sure it only lasted about a season and a half but, the fact remains the Phillies had the talent to do it. And, they probably had the additional talent to take similar risks if needed. Halladay is supposedly the Ace, the Stopper. At a minimum, he is suppose to insure that the Phillies never lose more than four in a row. And, they rarely do but Jamie Moyer has prevented it, not Halladay. Sure Halladay has not been getting a lot of run support. But take his last outing, he went into the game with a n ERA below 3.00 and what does he do? He gives up 3 runs right from the get-go. Where would the Phillies be even if had only pitched at a .500 level in his last four starts?

If we don’t sweep the rest of the games against the lowly Pirates, we’re in deep doo-doo. The top of the order in the line-up needs to start producing a bit more. As Ricky Bo said, the “MASH” unit of the squad is growing too much for my comfort. Now we add Schneider to the list…UGH!

Rube needs to go out and get an infield at least for a mid-level prospect ie Mayberry Jr.

As everyone knows we need bullpen help. If Werth will be gone at the end of the year why not look into trading him to San Diego for Heath Bell. We have Frnacisco and Brown can be called up and Bell has been a proven closer.

Also it is time to give someone in the minors a shot to pitch. They can not be any worse than Kendrick. He has been horrible and needs to be replaced.

pherris: “He gives up 3 runs right from the get-go.” From the what? Two of those runs came in the 8th inning. Hardly the ‘get-go.’

And how did the announcers miss Charlie bumping the home plate umpire with the brim of his cap the other day? I saw it, and the subsequent motion by the ump that Charlie made contact, but they didn’t say anything. McCarthy is lame and most of the time he’s stealing money. There – the season is so bad I’m complaining about the broadcasters.

Are we to believe the comments by Profrock that they are staying put with what they have? Ty Wigginton would be a nice addition, if they could make a deal for him. Trouble is, what do they have to offer?

f.i.j.: What “little guy stuck in AAA” do you have in mind to come up and help them?

muleman: I stand corrected. I guess I was thinking about Halladay’s other stellar starts this season. But the fact remains, he gave up 3 runs and the Phillies lost.

Todd, is 2011 going to be a rebuilding process? Will Charlie be fired?

Giving up three runs used to be nothing if you think of the run support our pitching staff used to get from the lineup…and the come-from-behind victories we were enjoying the past couple of seasons. This year there are flashes of brilliance but not playing in sync. I’ve been surprised and delighted to see Schneider and especially Valdez and Sardinha making big contributions of late. I’m looking forward to watching Moyer gain another quality start this evening. Who would have expected he and Doc to be having a competition to see who gets to 10 wins first?! Would be nice to see Howard and Werth do some damage tonight.

pherris: And Moyer gave up 2 runs and the Phillies lost. It doesn’t seem to matter sometimes how good the pitching is. One mistake kills him with this anemic offense.

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