Tag:Chase Utley
Posted on: September 25, 2010 12:41 am
Edited on: September 25, 2010 12:44 am

Mets, Phillies in tiff over slide

David Wright
Next time Phillies second baseman Chase Utley sees the Mets' David Wright sliding toward him, he should jump. Of course, if Ruben Tejada had used that technique, the latest beef between the teams could have been avoided.

Wright took exception to a slide Utley made Friday night in an attempt to break up a double play. The slide resulted in Tejada, the Mets' second baseman, being knocked over, and Wright implied that the Mets would be going after Utley on the basepaths in the future.

"He's a second baseman," Wright told MLB.com. "He knows what it's like to turn a double play, and he knows the difference between a good, clean slide and a slide that's late. That's a better question for him. But if he doesn't mind guys coming like that after him, then everything's good.

"We'll move on, and we'll reevaluate the way that we go into second base."

The trouble is, the replay shows that Tejada, a 20-year-old rookie, stayed planted on the second-base bag instead of jumping to avoid Utley. A second baseman trying to turn two gets the benefit of the doubt if he leaves the bag to dodge a sliding runner, and even if Utley's slide was on the late side, Tejada could have avoided him.

Even Tejada didn't complain about the slide, saying "it's baseball" and noting that Utley asked whether he was OK after the play. Utley declined to comment.

Hopefully Wright was just frustrated after a loss and there won't be any carryover from the play this weekend. Because it's Tejada, not Utley, who appears to be the one who should take a lesson from the play. Next time, jump.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: August 17, 2010 2:53 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2010 3:20 pm

Trio of second baggers set for return

Three of the game's best second basemen -- Philadelphia's Chase Utley, Boston's Dustin Pedroia and Atlanta's Martin Prado -- have returned from the disabled list for games tonight.

To make room for Utley, the Phillies designated Greg Dobbs for assignment. Dobbs was hitting .191/.250/.319 for the Phillies in 76 games for the Phillies.

Utley has been on the disabled list since June 29 with a broken thumb. He had surgery on the thumb on July 1 and was expected to be able to return at the end of this month.

This is hardly the first time Utley has defied the odds in returning from an injury. He was supposed to miss the first two months of the 2008 season after hip surgery, but was ready for opening day.

Pedroia was on the DL with a broken left foot and Prado had suffered a broken finger.

UPDATE: Prado is starting at third base tonight for the Braves, batting third. Pedroia is batting second, playing second, for the Red Sox.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 17, 2010 10:44 am

Utley's return in limbo

Chase Utley Chase Utley's return to the Phillies is still up in the air.

Utley returned to Philadelphia following his appearance in a  doubleheader in the Class A Florida State League on Monday, accompanied by special assistant to the GM Charley Kerfeld. While Utley said he hopes to join the Phillies today, Kerfeld sounded less optimistic when speaking to the Philadelphia Daily News ' Rick Harmon .

"I think he needs some more bats," Kerfeld said between the games of the doubleheader. "He looks fine. He just needs some more pitches."

The Phillies' Double-A team, the Reading Phillies, are at home through Thursday.

In four games in Clearwater, Utley was 3 for 12 with two triples and had two errors in three games at second base.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 15, 2010 7:41 pm

Utley may return Tuesday

Chase Utley I usually scoff when I hear athletes talk about being fast healers -- they all say it and the doctors are usually right. Chase Utley may be different.

The Phillies second baseman could be back as soon as Tuesday from his broken thumb -- 10 days before the original prognosis. Of course, this is a snail's pace compared to 2008 when he had offseason hip surgery and wasn't supposed to return until May, but instead was there opening day.

Utley, who may be related to Wolverine, has played the last two games with Class A Clearwater and is expected to play both ends of a doubleheader Monday before returning to Philly for the start of a series against the Giants.

In two games, Utley is 1 for 6, including a triple in Saturday's game.

"My thumb feels good," Utley told the Phialdelphia Inquirer' s Bob Putnam. "It's not bothering me at all. I don't what the plans will be after that. I'll have to discuss that with Charlie [Manuel] and [Ruben] Amaro and go from there."

Utley will fly back to Philadelphia after Monday's games, playing second in the first one and being used as a designated hitter in the second. He will then be evaluated by team doctors.

When Utley initially broke his thumb, the scheduled return date was Aug. 26. Utley had only been cleared to swing a bat on Wednesday.

"I'm not that surprised that I've been able to come back so quickly," Utley said. "I've just been pretty fortunate that everything has gone well with my thumb so far."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 11, 2010 8:29 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:08 pm

Victorino homers in rehab game

Shane Victorino The Phillies got encouraging news earlier today with Chase Utley and even more good news later as Shane Victorino tripled and homered in his first two at-bats of a rehab assignment at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Victorino had a single in two at-bats in his first game Monday. Afterwards, he told the Bucks County Courier Times : "I'm not feeling it at all."

Apparently he's feeling it tonight against the Pawtucket Red Sox. He singled in the first and homered in the third off of Pawtucket lefty Kris Johnson. He is scheduled to play seven innings tonight.

Victorino has been on the disabled list since straining his left abdominal muscle on July 27.

He's scheduled to play nine innings Thursday for the Iron Pigs, but if he's ready now, why not call him up right away?

He'll be back soon enough, and when he is back with the Phillies, does the team send top prospect Domonic Brown back to the minors?

Brown went into Wednesday's game hitting .257/.237/.400 with a homer and 10 RBI in 10 games with the Phillies. He drove in the team's first run Wednesday night against the Dodgers.

With Victorino back, it's likely the Phillies would go back to their regular outfield with Raul Ibanez in left and Jayson Werth in right. For Brown to get in his at-bats, he'll have to go back to the minors until his September call-up.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 11, 2010 4:37 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 4:52 pm

Utley cleared to swing

Chase Utley Phillies second baseman Chase Utley has been cleared to start swinging a bat, MLB.com's Todd Zolecki tweets .

Utley was scheduled to see the doctor who performed the surgery on his right thumb today and apparently got good news.

Utley had surgery on July 1 and has already been throwing and running, with hitting being the last hurdle. IF he can start swinging, he could be back as soon as the end of the month, slightly ahead of the team's initial eight-week timetable.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 9, 2010 10:58 am
Edited on: August 9, 2010 1:15 pm

Utley growing stronger on sidelines

Chase Utley If the Phillies are trying to find a silver lining in Chase Utley's injury that has knocked him out since late June, Utley knows exactly what it is.

"I've been able to lift a lot more, both legs and upper body," the second baseman told the Philadelphia News .

"I think it will help, just being a little bit stronger at this point of the year ... Last year I lost five pounds. In years before I've lost up to 10 pounds. So right now I'm about the same weight I was breaking spring training."

Most baseball players tend to lose five or more pounds over the course of the regular season, as weightlifting can be tough to fit into the regular season's schedule. It doesn't help that players burn calories during games either, which is why many players tend to slim down as the season goes on.

Durability is a key aspect of a player's skillset, and while many players are able to hold up over the grind, a fair amount see production slip off -- and Utley is no exception. Over his career in April, the All-Star hits .306/.398/.598 with a home run every 13.9 at-bats. In September, he slips to .267/.356/.469 with a homer every 20.5 at-bats. He also struggles in August as well, the famed dog days.

The only time Utley has drastically outperformed his September numbers came in 2007 when he was sidelined with a broken hand for a month, returning to the lineup in late August.

The Phillies have done everything they can to try to supplant Boston as the most snakebit team in the majors. While they haven't quite reached Boston's "talent" in this area, the fact that they have been able to withstand an onslaught of injuries to players such as Utley, Ryan Howard, Placido Polanco and Shane Victorino while remaining in the postseason hunt is impressive.

The Phils are just two games back of the Braves for the NL East Division and a half-game behind the Giants for the wild card. Adding a rested and powerful Utley just might make all the difference down the stretch.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 6, 2010 9:08 pm

Pedroia, Utley making strides

Baseball's two best second basemen are on the mend. Dustin Pedroia ran before the Red Sox game at Yankee Stadium and Chase Utley showed up at Citizen Bank Park before the Phillies' game against the Mets without a splint on his right hand.

Both teams made sure to temper any optimism about a quick return, though.

Pedroia ran sprints and manager Terry Francona told reporters his start isn't running naturally on his broken foot.

"I thought he made a lot of improvement, which is great," Francona said. "It's still healing. For him to accept that is very difficult. But I thought he had a good day. For him, a good day is not going to be until he is in the lineup."

That's still likely more than a week away.

Although Utley said he's not allowed to hit or throw until he sees a doctor next week, but has taken ground balls for the past few weeks.

Utley told reporters that he'd like to return by the end of this month -- which would be right at eight weeks, the initial prognosis.

"I'm extremely eager to get back," Utley said. "I've been going nuts on the bench."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com