Week In Review: 2/28 – 3/6

It has been one of those weeks for the Phillies.

While the pitching and offense are getting into the swing of things playing games and working out the kinks, Chase Utley is sitting on the outside watching his teammates play.  Originally diagnosed with patellar tendinitis as Spring Training started; the Phillies training staff were hopeful that cortisone shots and surgery were not necessary.  Unfortunately the pain has continued for Utley and he was given his first cortisone injection on Friday from team physician Michael Ciccotti.

The Phillies, and Utley, hope to get him out there for at least 10 games before the season kicks off April 1 in Philly.  “There’s times [in Spring Training] when I’ve felt great after 15 at-bats. There’s times where I haven’t felt great after 50 at-bats.  Obviously I want to get out there as soon as possible, but we also have to look at the big picture as well,” Utley said.

So as Phillies fans were sitting and waiting to see what will happen with Utley, we were devastated to hear that Domonic Brown broke his right hand during a game Saturday.  According to almost every beat writer his surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, March 8th.  Time table for an injury like this is 3-6 weeks.  However, Paul Boye pointed out a interesting stat from Rob Neyer.  In his column, Neyer wrote that it could take 12-18 months to fully regain power.

Enter Ben Francisco.  Ruben Amaro Jr. has gone on record to say the right field job is still up for grabs.  With the way BenFran has been hitting (8G .364/2Hr/6RBI) you have to think it is his job to lose.  Wilson Valdez showed the other day that he can play outfield too, so look for him on the depth chart come Opening Day.  He could prove very valuable to this Phillies team.

The Grapefruit League is in full swing.  The Phillies are looking good.  Cole Hamels seems to be in mid season form and Joe Blanton is doing his best to prove he is more than a fifth starter.  Roy Halladay and Hamels haven’t allowed a run in 11 innings.  Combined with Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Blanton, the rotation has only allowed five runs in 25 and 2/3 innings while striking out 22.

Ryan Howard hit his first and second home runs of the Spring this week, and that guy Valdez had two three-hit games and is hitting a scorching .533 (8-15) thus far.  Brian Schnieder and Matt Rizzotti each hit one out this week as well.  Overall the Phillies, both hitting and pitching, are looking very good.

As the season gets closer to start, the tickets are getting scarce.  It seems impossible that the streak of consecutive sellouts will be broken.  With that in mind, Phillies Nation is once getting inviting you along for a road trip.  And lots of them!  Check out when we’re packing up and shipping out to watch our beloved Phillies on the road.  We have 10 trips planned this season up and down the East Coast, on the West Coast and even a visit to the Pacific Northwest.

The Phillies are 5-5 this Spring and will take on the Yankees and Orioles twice this week.  They will also play Detroit and Tampa Bay.

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  1. jeff y

    March 7, 2011 at 6:50 am

    Utley is going to be a chump all year. Time for a new 2nd baseman.

  2. Don M

    March 7, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Thankfully, you defined what you meant by “chump” … so we have any idea at all what you’re talking about.

    Your “new 2nd baseman” if Utley is hurt this year is a combination of Valdez and Young

    • Phillistein

      March 7, 2011 at 11:08 am

      On the one hand – I’ll take a banged up Utley over most of the NL starting 2nd baseman. On the other hand – I knew this was going to be a worse situation then everyone was letting on and at some point I think we’re going to have to start laying the groundwork for a permanent solution.

      I love Valdez’s glove but did you know that Valdez is latin for “Hits into double play”? With Werth gone and Utley hurt that’s some major pop missing from the lineup. The depth chart for infielders makes me nervous. And I don’t see too much help coming from the minors.

  3. Pat Gallen

    March 7, 2011 at 11:29 am

    It’s a little premature to say Utley’s career is coming to a close, or anything close to that. Guys deal with injuries all the time, some get over them, some don’t. He’s still young at 32 and while he does have SOME mileage, he’s only played in 7 full seasons over 8 years. There is still some tread on the tires. They’ll fix this problem with a long period of rest and perhaps surgery, and he’ll be back on the field some point this year.

    The Phillies have the options to get by without someone like Utley, especially with the pitching staff. So lets say he missed 8-10 more weeks (worst case). That puts him back mid-May-ish, and he still has a ton of baseball ahead.

  4. jeff y

    March 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    The guy seems to be alway hurt. I like him, but he’s rather inconsistent at the plate.

  5. buffy08210

    March 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    RE: Utley:
    Br J Sports Med 2004;38:395-397 doi:10.1136/bjsm.2003.000053 : 6 of nine patients back to sports in 12 weeks with conservative management. Chase probably less, knowing him.
    Surgery seems unlikely based on http://www.nsosmc.com.au/cms/uploads/practices/BahrJBJS2006.pdf
    Utley’s thumb may have been worse in screwing up his hitting.

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