Results tagged ‘ Chase Utley ’
Sell! Sell! Sell!
But the Phillies entered tonight’s game against the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park winners of six of their last eight games and playing in a division that is arguably the weakest in baseball. So he seemed buoyed by the news Ryan Howard had successful surgery earlier in the day.
Howard had a debridement of the left medial meniscus. His timetable to return is six to eight weeks.
“After (Phillies physician Michael) Ciccotti went in there and went in with the scope, it was a little better picture then we thought,” Amaro said. “I think the player is feeling better about it, we’re feeling better about it. As news goes, this is as good as we can get.”
Amaro said it probably changes the season’s outlook “because we’ll have him back. There’s a reasonable chance we’ll have him back at some point. We still have a lot of question marks about where we’re going to go in the next couple of weeks. Right now, the team is making decisions a little harder on me which is fine and which is good. I’d rather be in this situation than thinking about 2014 right now.”
Amaro met with Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, the Phillies coaching staff and others in the organization Tuesday, although he declined to call it an organizational meeting.
Regardless of what one calls it, the organization’s decision makers met to discuss the team leading to the July 31 Trade Deadline.
“There were no real revelations,” Amaro said. “We are playing better baseball and putting ourselves in a position to be buyers. But there was nothing new out of it.”
So they are leaning toward buying at this point?
“Yeah, I think we’ll try to do that,” he said.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”