Utley Is Back

Thumbnail image for utley 1102.jpgSurprised? Nobody is surprised.

The Phillies activated Chase Utley from the 15-day disabled list before tonight’s series opener against the Giants. He returned nearly two weeks ahead of schedule.

“I told him that he needs about 15 more at-bats (in the Minor Leagues),” Pat Burrell joked. “Three games worth. But you know him. Once the doc says, ‘OK,’ he’s going to play. That’s just the way he is. I’m sure they’re happy to have him back. But once I saw on SportsCenter that he was cleared I knew it wouldn’t be long.”

The Phillies designated Greg Dobbs for assignment to make room for Utley on the 25-man roster. The Phillies have 10 days to move Dobbs’ contract. They can trade him, release him or place him on waivers. If Dobbs clears waivers, the Phillies can outright him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Dobbs can accept the assignment or refuse and become a free agent.

Asked why the Phillies chose rookie outfielder Domonic Brown, who the Phillies have said needs to play every day, over Dobbs, Ruben Amaro Jr. said, “I just really think at this stage of the game we’re a stronger team this way. It’s pretty simple.”

Utley was unavailable to comment before the game, but nobody seemed shocked he returned earlier than expected.

“He’s tough as nails,” Raul Ibanez said. “You knew he was going to do everything in his power to get back on the field. Everything about him that he brings is positive for the team. It’s Chase. He brings himself. He’s always preparing to be at his best to win that game.”

Utley went 3-for-12 with two triples, one RBI, one walk and one run scored in four rehab games with Class A Clearwater.

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10 Comments

No, not surprised at all. Some guys just won’t sit. It’s possible that Chase is playing in some pain, but he’d rather do that than sit. You have to hand it (pun) to a guy who goes out and takes ground balls with a hand behind his back. That’s why we love the guy so much. We always get our money’s worth.

No one can deny that Chase has a tremendous work ethic and an incredible drive to succeed. I just hope he’s 100% physically healthy. Of course, he’s going to be a little rusty when he plays for the first time in 6 weeks, but I hope he doesn’t get injured returning too soon.

I noticed he slid into second feet first on his first chance there.

I hope the Phils can score this much tomorrow, they’ll need it

Looks like the Braves are going to add Derrick Lee. I guess they’ve given up on Glaus, but their numbers for the season are about the same, and Lee has a bad back. Maybe they think Glaus can play 3B again. Fine with me. The left side of their infield will be a mess if it wasn’t already.

phan: The Braves haven’t had a HR from their first baseman in about a month, so I guess they figure that change is good.

I heard Jayson Stark on the radio this morning saying that Amaro sent Charlie Kerfeld to scout Utley for 3 days when he was on rehab. Kerfeld came back and said “he isn’t ready.” Next day, Chase is in the lineup.
Miracle or not, I don’t think there’s any way he is 100%.

muleman, I assume he just meant that Chase was rusty, not still healing. He might as well get the rehab at-bats here because 75% of him is better than 100% of Valdez, and that’s not to knock Valdez because he’s done a great job.
Chase did pretty well tonight though, even helped turn a DP.

I love Chase’s tenacity. And, no doubt he equals Valdez in fielding and bests Valdez in hitting even when he is less than 100%. I just hope the Phillies are protecting him against hisself ala Lidge last year.

Man… I wish Ibanez didn’t say Utley was as tough as nails.. The last “Nails” guy we had here was a juicer…

As long as Chase chase can throw the ball and grip the bat, the rest will take care of itself. Just having Chase in the game gives the team and phans a lift. Wilson did a fantastic job considering he made the jump from minor league contract to everyday player in the Bigs. He single-handedly knocked Juan Castro off the team with his impressive performance. He even improved greatly in the area of GIDPs, which had him killing innings for the Phils early on.

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