Phillies All-Star Chase Utley suffered a broken hand when Nationals rookie John Lannan hit him with a pitch in the fifth inning of this afternoon’s 7-6 loss. Specifically, he fractured the fourth metacarpal on his right hand. Immediate reports from the Phillies indicated that the injury would be season-ending but both Utley and the team now deny that possibility. What is certain at this point is that the best second baseman in baseball will be placed on the the disabled list. Chase has an appointment with a hand specialist on Friday to determine what options, if any, are available. Surgery is a possibility and that would likely put Chase out for the season. But knowing Chase, he will opt to play through the pain – he already has been quoted saying he could be back on the field in less than a month. That seems optimistic in my opinion so a lot will depend on which disabled list the Phils place him. At best, it will be an extended stay on the 15-day DL, as we’ve seen with Brett Myers. But like Myers, the Phillies need Chase Utley back now if they hope to make a playoff run in the 2007 season.
UPDATE: Utley is planning to have surgery which means he will be out 4-6 weeks. The Nation is depressed.
UPDATE 2, FROM THE PHILLIES: Second baseman Chase Utley was placed on the 15-day disabled list today after having successful surgery on the fourth metacarpal in his right hand. He had a pin inserted into the hand during the 20-minute surgery that was performed this morning by Dr. Randall Culp at Methodist Hospital. Utley’s expected recovery time is up to four weeks.
To replace him on the roster, the Phillies purchased the contract of infielder/outfielder Joe Thurston from triple-A Ottawa. Thurston, 27, hit a combined .278 with three home runs and 44 RBI in 105 games between double-A Reading and Ottawa. He was named Phillies Minor League Player of the Week twice this season. Thurston played mostly second base but also made appearances in left field and center field. He will wear #10.