Analysis

Utley to rejoin Phillies, will play when off DL

utley

Chase Utley was hopeful on Tuesday that he would be reunited with former teammate Jimmy Rollins before he skipped town following Thursday’s game.

“Obviously, we spent a long time together, but I imagine I might have the chance to see him on Thursday, or so,” Utley told reporters on Tuesday.

It appears that the second baseman will get a chance to catch up with his old friend, as Utley is expected to join the Phillies for today’s series finale against the Dodgers.

Whether or not Utley will play, or even be activated from the disabled list, has yet to be determined. Pete Mackanin, however, has already confirmed that the 36-year-old will see his fair share of playing time when he’s ready for action.

“I’m going to try and mix Chase in at second base,” Mackanin said. “I already had a conversation with Cesar to let him know that he is not a utility player, but it’s important to get Chase at-bats, [Utley] may play some first base, so hopefully three or four days a week I can get him in. We’ll see.”

To ensure Utley sees time at second, Cesar Hernandez will move around the diamond—playing some shortstop and third base to give Freddy Galvis and Maikel Franco some time off. He will also play a little first base for Ryan Howard.

Utley is coming off a solid showing in his last rehab game for Double-A Reading where he finished 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, and an RBI. In his three minor league rehab games, Utley went 6-for-13, and looks ready to get back to work at the Major League level.

The veteran has been on the radar of a couple of teams interested in trading for him before the Aug. 31 waiver Trade Deadline—including the Cubs and Angels. Utley was batting just .179 in 65 games before landing on the DL, but he’ll be looking to prove that he still has some good baseball left in him when he returns to the Phillies’ starting lineup.

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