Results tagged ‘ Chase Utley ’

Amaro: Next 10 Days Are Big

Ruben Amaro, Jr.Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. just spoke to reporters in the Phillies’ dugout. He got asked about the importance of this team’s upcoming 10-game homestand, including seven games against the Braves and Nationals. Here are a few highlights of that interview. Check phillies.com later for more.

Q: How do you view the importance of this series?
A: This homestand more than anything else is probably the bigger questions. Very important. We’ve got to play well to stay in contention, clearly. I think we’ll know a lot more about this team after this homestand.

Q: If you don’t have a good homestand could the makeup of the team be different shortly thereafter?
A: It could be. It could be. I hope we’re adding to this club than subtracting. That’s the goal, but as I always say and I’ve been saying the same thing, the players will dictate it.

Q: Safe to say you have to have a winning record on this homestand? Does 5-5 cut it?
A: We’ll have to see. Probably, but we’ll have to see. But that depends how we get to 5-5, you know?

Q: Overstatement to say this homestand is make or break?
A: I don’t know. I don’t like to speak in absolutes all that much, but it’s an important one no question about it.

Q: Frustrating to see this team struggle?
A: Yeah, they’ve been a little enigmatic. I think this team has been a little bit of an enigma. We’ll see. We’ll find out more after this homestand, I think. These next 10 days are big.

Q: Do you view anybody on this team as an untouchable?
A: Some guys are a lot less touchable than others. But we’ll keep our eyes open, our ears open.

Q: How tough would it be to trade Chase Utley, considering his influence in this clubhouse?
A: Really tough. Really tough. Again, I see him as a Phillie for life. I’m not the most stubborn human being on the planet.

Last Month for the Final Five?

Phillies Player of the '00s: RollinsChase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels and Carlos Ruiz are the only remaining players from the 2008 World Series championship roster, and this could be their final month together.

Click here to read what some of them said about it.

The Phillies are reluctant to trade Utley. I’m sure they would love him back next year. But you have to wonder if Utley, who will become a free agent after the season, will want to come back? Consider for a second if the Phillies trade Cliff Lee or Jonathan Papelbon or both. Say they trade Ruiz, etc. Will Utley believe this team can win in the near future? That is something the Phillies will have to consider as they approach the trade deadline. On the other hand, the Phillies are much more willing to trade Rollins. (You have to wonder how his comments Sunday that he wasn’t disappointed at all with their 1-3 series against the Dodgers played in the clubhouse and front office.) But Rollins isn’t nearly as easy to trade as Utley. Utley is a free agent after the season. He still is very productive offensively, when healthy. Rollins’ productive has dropped this season, and he has $22 million remaining on his deal, if his 2015 option automatically vests based on plate appearances.

If either is traded, however, it will signal a clear and significant change within the organization and a considerable culture shift within the clubhouse.

Utley Begins Rehab Assignment Tonight

Chase UtleyThe Phillies announced this morning Chase Utley will begin a rehab assignment tonight with Double-A Reading.

He had been scheduled to begin his rehab last night, but rain prevented that.

Don’t expect this to take very long. Probably just two or three games for Utley, who has not played since May 20 because of a strained right oblique. Remember, he played only nine rehab games after missing nearly three months of the season last year because of an injured knee. He has missed just a month this year, so that’s why I say just two or three games. I would be stunned if he’s not back before the end of the weekend.

Could Utley Be Back Next Week?

Chase UtleyThe Phillies badly need Chase Utley’s bat back in the lineup.

He is getting closer to a return from the 15-day disabled list, but he said today at Target Field that no rehab assignment has been scheduled. But he has been swinging the bat this week, and he said it has gone well.

“So far, so good,” he said.

Utley has been on the DL since May 21 because of a strained right oblique. He said he could be back by the middle of the month. Of course, the middle of the month officially is this weekend, so maybe a return early next week is feasible. Utley probably won’t need more than a few games to return.

“I think it’s still realistic,” he said. “Everything has gone well so far. Tomorrow I’m going to probably do the same, maybe pick up the intensity a little bit and go from there. But I don’t have an actual date (in mind to return). … The guys who I’ve talked to, who have had this in the past, they said once you start swinging, a few said it was sore and they had to back off for a few days. So far I haven’t had to do that.”

Utley Could Be Back Soon

Chase UtleyChase Utley said today he believes he can rejoin the team by the middle of the month.

“Yeah, it’s realistic,” he said.

Utley has been on the disabled list since May 21 with a strained right oblique. He said he already feels he can take a few swings with the bat, but will wait a little longer to avoid any chance of a setback. A strained oblique can be finicky.

“I am definitely feeling better,” he said. “I’m hoping to take some swings in the next three or four days, and at that point I’ll probably know where I’m at.”

Utley expects he will need some sort of rehab assignment, but it might be locally.

“We haven’t talked about it, but I don’t think Clearwater is in the plans,” he said.

But a rehab game in Double-A Reading or Triple-A Lehigh Valley might be.

“Possibly, yeah,” he said.

Brown Is Hot, But Not on Ballot

Domonic BrownDomonic Brown is one of the hottest hitters on the planet, but he is nowhere to be found among the leaders in votes for the National League All-Star team.

MLB just announced the top five players at every position, including the top 15 outfielders.

Brown is not among the top 15. I guess that isn’t a surprise. While Brown is hitting .329 with six doubles, two triples, 15 home runs, 36 RBIs and a 1.053 OPS since April 23, he only truly has gotten everybody’s attention in the last 10 games. He is hitting .447 (17-for-38) with one double, one triple, nine home runs, 17 RBIs and a 1.712 OPS in that stretch. Combine that late surge with lower attendance at Citizens Bank Park and Phillies fans not exactly excited about their team — thus they are not stuffing the ballot box like they have in the past — and Brown seems destined to the make the team as a reserve.

Chase Utley is the only Phillies player to be listed among the leaders, but he is a distant third among second basemen.

Utley Needs More Time to Heal

Chase UtleyThe Phillies said last week Chase Utley’s strained right oblique would take two to four weeks to heal.

They were optimistic he would need just two.

But Utley still feels soreness in the oblique, so they said today he is going to need more time.

“It’s just an injury that’s tricky, so we have to be real careful with it,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “He still feels tenderness in there, so we’ve got to be careful not to let it get to the point where it becomes even more of an injury. We’ll just slow play him until he’s ready.”

Asked if Utley had a setback, Amaro said, “No, not to my knowledge he hasn’t had a setback. He’s just still tender.”

Utley has not played since May 20, which makes him eligible to be activated June 5. But that won’t happen.

Utley to DL

Chase UtleyIt seemed a certainty Chase Utley would land on the disabled list this week.

The Phillies confirmed this evening he would.

They announced Utley, who felt a burning sensation on his right side when taking swings during batting practice Monday in Miami, will be placed on the 15-day disabled list with what they have called a “very mild” Grade 1 strained oblique. They said there is no intercostal or ribcage injury. He is eligible to be activated June 5.

The Phillies selected infielder Michael Martinez’s contract from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take his place on the roster. Martinez has hit a combined .188 with a .512 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in parts of two seasons with the Phillies. He has hit .226 with a .570 OPS with Lehigh Valley this season.

Ruben Amaro Jr. said the typical recovery for this type of injury is two to four weeks.

“We do believe and hope that Chase will be ready to play in Philadelphia within 15 days,” Amaro said in a statement.

(more…)

MRI Scheduled for Utley, Won’t Play Tonight

Chase UtleyChase Utley knows he needs to be smart about this.

He felt a burning sensation in his right ribcage taking swings in the batting cage before last night’s game at Marlins Park. He got scratched from the lineup a short time later, will not play in tonight’s series finale against the Marlins and will have a MRI exam tomorrow in Philadelphia.

It seems likely Utley will miss time with a trip to the disabled list a good possibility.

“It definitely scared me a little bit,” he said today. “My first swing I took in BP, I felt something. My second swing, I felt it again. My third swing, I felt it again. After the fourth swing, I realized something wasn’t right. That’s when I told Charlie (Manuel) I have some pain in my side. He told me to go see (head athletic trainer) Scott (Sheridan). He took me out of the game. I think it was a smart thing to do. You want to be careful with these things because they could linger and get worse if you try to play through it. I think we caught it early enough but it’s hard to know until we have some imaging on it.”

Utley said he felt about the same as yesterday, not great, but not terrible.

“It’s kind of in between,” he said.

Utley has spoken with teammates and former teammates who have had similar injuries in the past. Several Phillies pitchers have spent time on the DL in recent seasons because of strained obliques, but so have position players like catcher Carlos Ruiz and former outfielder Jayson Werth. Ruiz spent 23 days on the DL in 2009, while Werth spent 15 days.

“The main thing they said was, ‘Don’t rush back,’” he said. “That’s when you can make it worse and prolong the time you’re out.”

Utley has been one of the team’s few bright spots this season. He is hitting .272 with seven doubles, two triples, seven home runs and 25 RBIs in 44 games. He has an .814 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, which ranks seventh out of 20 qualifying second basemen in baseball. He has missed much of the previous two seasons because of chronically injured knees, but the knees have not been an issue so far.

“I just hit into a little bad luck,” he said. “I have felt pretty good. Hopefully this is just a small bump in the road.”

*

Roy Halladay reported to Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla., two days ago to begin his rehab following right shoulder surgery. “He’s feeling like he’s got pretty good range of motion, which is a plus,” Amaro said. “I talked to him yesterday. He’s very positive.”

*

Mike Adams threw a bullpen session today. He will throw another one Friday in Clearwater, Fla., before pitching in a rehab game Monday with Class A Clearwater. He would be activated Tuesday at the earliest.

*

John Lannan is scheduled to throw May 29 to hitters in Clearwater. Amaro said “he is doing very well. He feels good.”

Utley Scratched from Tonight’s Lineup

Chase UtleyJust another health issue for another Phillies player.

Chase Utley had to be scratched from tonight’s lineup because he felt discomfort on his right side during batting practice. The Phillies said Utley will be reevaluated tomorrow.

Freddy Galvis took his place at second base.

Utley has been one of the few bright spots for the team this season. He is hitting .272 with seven doubles, two triples, seven home runs and 25 RBIs in 44 games. He has an .814 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, which ranks sixth among 20 qualifying second basemen in baseball.

Utley has missed significant time each of the previous two seasons because of chronically injured knees, but he has said the knees have felt fine.

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