It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for.
Chase Utley is finally headed to Clearwater to ramp up his rehab, appearing in an extended spring training game Monday. Extended spring games include the player only taking cuts at the plate, not fielding. They also do not count against the players official rehab. Once Utley feels comfortable enough at the plate, he’ll then take part in those official rehab games.
Last season, Utley took part in extended spring games starting on May 7. He was then activated from the DL after an 11-game rehab stint, rejoining the Phillies on May 23.
The Phillies have not put a timetable on his return, but this is the first part of the process. He’ll likely take his time with this step of the rehab and not rush his way back into the lineup.
Just a few days ago, Ruben Amaro did not believe Utley would be back with the team in June. Even if that holds true, there is a very good chance he’ll be back before or around the all-star break in mid-July.
Vance Worley will start tomorrow against Los Angeles; Erik Kratz heads back to Lehigh Valley. That’s great news as the Phillies obviously needed to fill the void left when Roy Halladay hit the disabled list.