Polanco Is Back, Utley Is Not

The Phillies said last month they planned to bring along Chase Utley and Placido Polanco slowly in Spring Training.

They meant it.

Polanco, who had sports hernia surgeries after last season, made his Grapefruit League debut today against the New York Yankees at Bright House Field. He went 2 for 3 with one RBI. Utley, who has a chronic right knee condition, has not played so far and might not play for at least another week.

“It’s going to be a while yet,” Charlie Manuel said.

Ruben Amaro Jr. said that was part of their original plan.

“We talked about him not playing for the first week or two weeks,” he said of Utley. “We’re going to ease him into it. We know he’ll be ready when the bell rings. We just want to make sure he’s as fresh and as healthy as he can possibly be on Opening Day.”

So Utley is healthy then?

“He seems fine,” Amaro said. “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.”

Polanco said he sees benefits to the way he is being handled this spring.

“If you don’t play every day it’s not a problem,” he said. “I don’t have a long swing so it doesn’t really take a lot of at-bats for me to get ready. … I’ve been very happy about the way I’ve been feeling. I haven’t felt anything.”

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!
Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • April 2: Barnes & Noble in Plymouth Meeting, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 3: Chester County Book Company in West Chester, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.

10 Comments

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Easy does it!

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

I guess Utley didn’t get the memo that chewing tobacco leads to cancer of the mouth, tongue, salivary glands, etc. Nice example for the youth of America. Why does MLB tolerate this practice?

Yeah, that’s a shame. No other adults in any other line of work engage in habits that set a bad example for the youth of America.
Perhaps their parents should bear some of the responsibility? Baseball players are adults in charge of their own bodies.

Maybe it’s a gumball.
Just get back on the field, Chase.

Why don’t you name some of these other occupations which can have as corrosive an effect on kids as a baseball player with a wad of tobacco in his mouth can have?

I find it impossible to believe that Chase is “chewing tobacco” The guy is so health conscious and takes such good care of his body. I’m sure it’s something else.

Your kidding, right?

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