Analysis

Manuel Hopeful Utley Can Return Next Week

Will Chase return next week? (AP)

Charlie Manuel said before Thursday’s series finale against the Rockies that Chase Utley could be back next week if all continues to go well.

Manuel says it’s all about feeling comfortable in the field for Utley, who is DH-ing and batting third for Clearwater again tonight. He played eight innings in the field on Wednesday and hit a home run, so obviously people in the organization are getting a little antsy thinking about what could be.

If anything, it’s almost certain Utley will return to the team when his rehab stint expires on July 2. But it’s starting to sound like he could be ahead of schedule and possibly in the Phillies lineup before the end of this month.

I asked Manuel if he lets himself think about a lineup with Utley and Ryan Howard in it, and he basically admitted that he’s wondered about it a time or two. He said with them in the lineup you’ll see more “fast runs.” Part of the issue of this offense, although it has been rather good since May, is that the long ball is missing. Manuel hopes that will change a bit when his star infielders return.

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0 Comments

  1. Bruce

    June 21, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Wow! Can that really be? Do I allow myself to think and expect Utley to return THIS month? If nothing else, it’s a sure sign that Utley is confident and physically fit to play regularly before long. In any case, great news!.

  2. Andrew from Waldorf

    June 21, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Sorry it doesnt excite me at all.
    Manuel will insist on hitting him 3rd regardless of what he has left in the tank.

    Now at least he plays the game right and will not do harm.

    When the other guy comes back ( you know who I mean) I am gonna say it will do serious harm to the team especially if they are on any type of a roll offensively.

    As always hope I am wrong on all accounts.

    • Gavin

      June 21, 2012 at 6:21 pm

      Come on Andrew, a little bit of optimism is allowed!

  3. Andrew from Waldorf

    June 21, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Do no harm as far as doing moronic stuff or not hustling.
    He is a ball player 100%

    Just is all crippled up now with little to no power left.

  4. Andrew from Waldorf

    June 21, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I try and I hope.
    I understand most fans thrive on it.

    I am a gambler and will bet against my favorite horse in a second.

    Just my honest take on the situation.

    Many times I lose a bet and am happy my friends horse won.
    I hope I am wrong.

  5. Pat Gallen

    June 21, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Regardless of what you think of Utley at this stage in his career, he’s still an upgrade over what they have. Galvis was playing some nice ball at times, but Utley can still be a game changer. Let’s not tie him to the tree yet.

    • teejvee

      June 21, 2012 at 8:37 pm

      There is no precedent in the history of basebal for a guy coming back with an injury like Utley’s. So we have no clue as to what will happen, But based on last year, the prognosis is not good.

    • c schreiber

      June 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      Pat, do you really believe he’ll be a gamer changer this year? Really? Really?

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