Week In Review – Utley Announcement, Madson Goes Down – Phillies Nation
2012 Spring Training

Week In Review – Utley Announcement, Madson Goes Down

Chase will be looking from the dugout Opening Day.

Chase Utley!!!!  He was not in the clubhouse, surprise surprise, earlier as the team spoke with reporters.  He did, however, hold a mini ‘presser’ and addressed some things. Utley spoke to reporters and said he would not be ready for Opening Day and didn’t have a time table for his return.  He still thinks he can contribute this season and laughed at the rumor he was retiring.


As hard as this spring has been with injuries for the Phillies it seems they finally caught a break.  Ryan Madson looks to miss the entire 2012 season after the Reds announced their new closer has torn his elbow ligament clean off the bone.  The Cincinnati closer is scheduled to have Tommy John surgery soon to repair it.

I have never been one to wish harm on anyone and this is an awful situation for Madson and the Reds but, whew, I am pleased it happened after he left the Phillies.  There was a lot of back and forth with Madson after the season ended.  One morning I woke up reading that he would be the Phillies closer only to then find out Rube signed Jonathan Papelbon.  It’s just crazy how some things work out.  Best of luck to him after the surgery.


Opening Day is right around the corner and the Phillies won’t have to leave their home state of Pennsylvania for it.  They open against the Pirates in Pittsburgh.  This past week the Phillies announced the rotation for their first series of the season and to no one’s surprise it will be Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee having first dibs at wins.  Surprisingly Vance Worley goes third giving Cole Hamels the nod for the home opener.  This says nothing about Hamels, or Worley for that matter.  Hamels in the home opener is good for business and the Phillies.

Worley, in his last start, looked shaky at first but went six innings (five scoreless after the first) and struck out seven Yankee split-squaders.  He has been impressive at times this Spring.


As I am sure many of you have heard, the Mini Mart is shut down for business.  Well what little business he did.  The Phillies back up to the back up Michael Martinez broke a bone in his foot and could be out 4-6 weeks.  Ruben Amaro stepped up and expressed regret, sort of, in trading Wilson Valdez.  The Phils could definitely use him right about now.


The new ride at Six Flags or Hershey Park this summer should be called ‘The Dom Brown Experience.’  The ride will be a lot of ups and downs, maintenance delays, high expectations and lots of waiting.  Not sure what the deal is with Domonic Brown and the Phillies but it doesn’t like they can get on the same page.  Once again, he has been optioned down to Triple-A to begin the season.  It has been a rough Spring for Brown dealing with thumb and neck issues.  Let’s hope he rakes the first month and then dons Phillies pinstripes from there on out.


The guys here at Phillies Nation were excited, and humbled, to be named Best Phillies Fan Blog by USA Today.  We owe it to all you readers out there.  We do this for you guys, and couldn’t do it without you.  So thank you!

Go Phillies!

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  1. TheDipsy

    March 25, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    I would laugh at the thought of retiring too if I was still owed 26 million dollars.

    The Dipsy

  2. Jaron B

    March 25, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Chooch and Scooch now have the same schedule from last year.

  3. bacardipr05

    March 25, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    The thing i dont understand. Is why both last year and this year, Utley or the Phillies suddenly realize he has a problem. Isnt the time to rehab was in November??? I agree what Dipsy said expect another year of drama and BS with Utley. I know the surgery for his condition isnt guaranteed to improve the condition. However if by February he still had a problem why not take a chance with the surgery and have him possibly available in August. My guess is Mr. Utley is been stubborn about this as well.

    • schmenkman

      March 25, 2012 at 9:40 pm

      1) I don’t think he knew he had a problem until he came to camp and started baseball activities.

      2) what surgery do you want him to have? will it help? what’s the recovery time?

    • Lil' Kim Jong-il

      March 25, 2012 at 9:49 pm

      Utley said today that his condition is “not bad enough to have microfracture surgery” and is “not bad enough to end my career.” We can only surmise at this point that it’s bad enough to miss a third of the season from now on. Maybe. Who really knows? Just 10 days ago RAJ said “I don’t think there’s any chance he won’t be ready opening day…we fully expect him to be ready opening day.”

    • Big Dog

      March 26, 2012 at 8:59 am

      Utley is having problems with the left knee this Spring. Last year the problem was the right knee. His right knee (the bad one from last year) is causing him no problem and feels “great”.

  4. TheDipsy

    March 25, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    My guess is that Chase will discover after another two or three months that he’s not getting better or fit enough to play. Then he will have the microfracture or the injections. Will they work? Who the hell knows. But by that time he will know that the rest and conditioning hadn’t worked and that the surgery is his last shot. He’s not there yet. We have all seen injuries that unfold like this…prolonged, chronic, vague diagnosis, failed treatments. The players never get better without the surgery they need and maybe not even then. I wish Chase well but I don’t want to see the Phils just keeping holding out hope that this guy is coming back. Proceed as if he’s gone and if he does come back, and he’s a reasonable facsimile of himself, it’ll be a bonus and Ruben can deal with it then.

    Go get a OFer and try to make up the offense there and move Jr. to first. In the meantime, Hamel’s price goes up every day. If Amaro was going to sign him he should have done it by now. That said, if he doesn’t think he can sign him, well then trade him. Maybe not right this second. Lets see if the offense can keep us close and let him go at the deadline.

    The Dipsy

  5. chuck s

    March 25, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Must agree we need offense. We’re looking at 3rd or 4th place in the east unless we get some O. All the pitching in the world cannot win unless the team scores runs.

    • schmenkman

      March 25, 2012 at 10:52 pm

      Vegas oddsmakers disagree, so you have a chance to make some money.

  6. Joe a

    March 25, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Does anyone think madson is frustrated that he didn’t sign a long term deal. Couldn’t his agent have signed for a few million less and gotten him a 40 plus million guaranteed deal?

  7. EricL

    March 25, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Wow, you guys are all freaking out.

    Stop it. Everything will be fine. The Phillies have the best rotation in the entire league, a very good and deep bullpen, an improved bench, a full year of Pence, and everything else stays pretty much the same as last year–you know, when they won 102 games. Howard will be back in May or early June at the latest.

    The Phillies are still the team to beat in the NL and there isn’t a particularly close second place team. Stop with the panicking. You’re going to give yourselves and ulcer.

    • Lil' Kim Jong-il

      March 25, 2012 at 11:14 pm

      I’ll have whatever you’re drinking!

      • schmenkman

        March 25, 2012 at 11:19 pm

        Eric’s comment is actually one of the most sober things I’ve read all day.

    • Brian Sr. of CO

      March 26, 2012 at 8:37 am

      Eric is right. Some people on here need to chill out and take a pill or something. 3rd or 4th place? That is a bit of a stretch. Granted the Marlins and Nats are much better, but to think the Marlins can win 30 more games based on the changes they made is a bit of a stretch. Keep in mind they finished 30 games back in 2011. Maybe this will really test the WAR factor. If you look at WAR for all of the changes made (including Hanley at 3rd, the WAR for all of them COMBINED I think is about 12-15. Obviously the Phillies will probably start out a bit rough with Howard and Utely down, they did make some pretty good moves to be able to “stay afloat”. If Thome can play once a week, and have Jr at least do what he did last season, could provide just enough for Howard to come back, and HOPEFULLY have Utley come back if healthy. Sure, there is a question mark around winning the division for the 6th straight year, but that is based on current injuries and the possibility of other starters going down.

  8. LCMRSalazar85

    March 25, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Our rotation is tops, along with our bullpen. However, we need to be able to score runs. With the right side of the infield done for a while, when does RAJ start trading? Blanton needs to go.

    • EricL

      March 26, 2012 at 12:22 am

      Really? Blanton needs to go? So what offensive powerhouse are you going to be able to pick up for Blanton?

      Repeat after me:


      Howard will be back sooner than you all think (Think early May – http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/will_carroll/03/20/fantasy-baseball-injuries/index.html ) and in case you forgot, let me remind you all that the Utley-less Phillies of 2011 were in first place when he returned. That team had Ibanez and his .707 OPS in left, Fransisco and his .704 OPS in RF (now replaced with Pence), and Martinez/Valdez at second. In addition that team had a punchless bench filled with the likes of Gross Load (.603 OPS), whichever of the Valdez-I-Mart duo wasn’t starting (.634 & .540 OPS, respectively), Schneider (.502 OPS) and Petey Orr (.529 OPS).

      AND THAT TEAM WAS THE BEST IN THE NL! This team has improved in almost every single one of those areas (save Schneider & 2B, which are likely to be equally weak offensively.)

      • Lil' Kim Jong-il

        March 26, 2012 at 12:55 am

        If a fantasy baseball writer says it, it’s got to be true. In reality nobody knows when Ryan will be back. Howard hasn’t even started to run “for real”. He hasn’t made reactionary moves in the field. He hasn’t broken out of the batters box. Players who have had the same injury have said there are always setbacks along the way. A May return seems overly optimistic, the All-Star break seems more likely. I’m not a fantasy baseball writer though.

        The offense will take another step backwards in 2012. It’s been trending downwards for a few years now. Whether or not it will be “fine” or “good enough” has yet to be seen.

      • EricL

        March 26, 2012 at 1:39 am

        Will Carroll has written extensively about sports injuries for nearly a decade. He’s actually very good when it comes to Estimated Return Dates.

        Now, would I rather take the word of a guy who is paid by a major media orginzation to write about sports injuries and has extensive contacts throughout the sports world, or some bro on a Phillies blog who pulls a random date out of his tuchus? I’ve given you a legitimate reference for my assertion that he will be back in May. If you’re able to provide a better source, please feel free to do so.

        As for the offense, well, the Phillies were one of the best offensive teams in the league last season, so I don’t know what you’re talking about with this “trending downwards” stuff. See here: http://www.thegoodphight.com/2011/11/2/2504605/2011-phillies-offense-better-than-in-2010-and-2008 (and you can thank our pal schmenkman for that piece)

  9. Cecil

    March 26, 2012 at 2:54 am

    Utley said. ”I think we’re onto something. I’m not happy that I’m not going to be on the field right away with my teammates, but we have a good squad. We have a good pitching staff. We have some veteran leaders who will allow it to not affect us.” And I believe him. . .http://bit.ly/GDYGvu

  10. TheDipsy

    March 26, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Eric – If Ryan Howard is back by May 15 I will drive to your house and wash your car. The man who now sits on a stool in order to take part in baseball related activities will not be ready to hit major league pitching by May. I don’t care what your expert says. Forget it.

    The Dipsy

  11. Don M

    March 26, 2012 at 8:31 am

    I think its funny how crazy people can get before the season even starts . . . . The Phillies have one of the best teams in baseball, with or without Utley and Howard …. if/when those guys return, it just makes us that much better.

    We wont scores runs like the 2008 squad, but we also don’t need to score as many, as our rotation, and bullpen are better ….

    While I don’t think that we have any easy road to repeat the NL East (I think the Marlins are legit… and the Nats should be pests, just the same way gnats are)… I still see the Phillies making another postseason run, and health at that point will play a key role

  12. Chuck A.

    March 26, 2012 at 8:50 am

    There is no freaking way that Ryan Howard is back by May. Even June seems like a stretch but what the hell do I know.

    Also, to Ryan H from the earlier thread – This whole thing with Chase is a “farce”?? Really?? Farces don’t just miss Spring Training and chunks of seasons for two years in a row.

    And I’d like to mention that I really like Freddy Galvis. Wheeler mentioned yesterday during the telecast that he has certain “baseball insticts” that you just can’t teach. The way he ran from 1st to 3rd at one point was indicative of that. He knew what he wanted to do, picked up Juan Samuel at 3rd and never hesitated.

  13. Pingback: Week In Review – Utley Announcement, Madson Goes Down … | Sports Injury

  14. Dave Lerch

    March 26, 2012 at 10:44 am

    I don’t think it really matters that much when Utley returns or if he does. Especially if the most we can expect form him is how he performed last year. I think we need to move on. It appears that he will be a shell of himself going forward. Time to find a solution other than Utley at second base. The same applies for Howard. His best years are behind him and I find it hard to believe he rehabs and is productive going forward. Maybe next year,but, it’s time to find a long term solution at first base also. With that said, the pitching is excellent, the bullpen appears solid and we have enough talent to win the division and make some noise in the playoffs. We will need to make a move at the trading deadline for some offense and package Dom Brown to get the offensive punch to get us over the hump.

  15. Chuck A.

    March 26, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Dave Lerch – we have a “long term solution at first base”. It’s called 5years/$125 M.

  16. TheDipsy

    March 26, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Dave Lerch – I am behind you 100% pal. BUT! Ryan Howard is here to stay so get used to it.

    The Dipsy

  17. Chuck A.

    March 26, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Schmenkman …. we get it already. Chase wasn’t all that bad last year upon his return. But this year MAY be a different story. We will just have to wait and see once he comes back…IF he even does. Either way, he still was last year and will be moving forward a shell of his former self.

    • schmenkman

      March 26, 2012 at 11:44 am

      I agree that we don’t know what we are going to get this year. I also agree that even last year he wasn’t nearly the player he used to be.

      But I get tired of the misconception that he wasn’t still a very good player last year, and that it will be easy to replace his 2011 production.

  18. Lefty

    March 26, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Over the years I have had both of my knees scoped. Utley hurt the right one last year, and the left one this year. I am assuming that what happened to him happened to me. My orthopedist (who has worked with many of the Baltimore Colts and now Ravens ) told me that the body overcompensates when one side or the other isn’t carrying the load due to pain. It may be conscious, or may not, but for many, it’s inevitable that problems will occur due to overcompensation of the original injury. Luckily, that doesn’t seem to have happened to Utley’s left hip.

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