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Chase Utley expects to play in 2012 but doesn't know when, Domonic Brown, and more!


Phillies Weekly Roundup:

Chase Utley says he will play in 2012, he just doesn’t know when
We really didn’t know what to expect from Chase Utley’s press conference on Sunday. Would he announce his retirement? Would he miss the 2012 season as a result of not one but now two bad knees from patellar tendinitis?

Turns out it was neither.

While Utley confirmed he would not be ready for Opening Day, he spent some time earlier in the week seeing a physical therapist in Arizona and is trying new workouts for his ailing knees. Apparently,he is already seeing benefits from the new exercises and expects play in 2012.

Utley however, is not putting a timetable on his return.

There’s nothing more that can be said here that hasn’t been said already. While it’s a good thing to hear Utley is not retiring or will miss the bulk of the season, you have to wonder how effective he can be. All I know is, the Phillies will be missing 244 runs batted in from last year’s starting lineup (Utley, Ryan Howard, and Raul Ibanez) when they play the Pirates to start the season. You just have to hope Freddy Galvis, Ty Wigginton, 41 year-old Jim Thome, John Mayberry Jr, and Laynce Nix can compensate for some of that production.

While this means nothing if you get to the playoffs, you have to GET to the playoffs.....

Domonic Brown optioned

It was a longshot that Domonic Brown actually would make the Phillies’ Opening Day lineup, and it was finally confirmed Thursday when he was optioned to Triple-A. When he played, Brown was encouraging- at the plate. Despite going 6 for 20, Brown’s defensive “adventures” in left field were cringeable. He actually sprained his right thumb while diving for a ball he misjudged. Brown also suffered a neck injury while riding on the team bus last week. I’m not kidding....

While the above might be true, it’s really just par for the course with Brown by now. He seems to be a likeable guy, but whether it’s his development or freak injuries, it’s always one thing after another with him. With the surplus of veterans vying for a roster spot like Scott Podsednik, Juan Pierre, Jim Thome and Laynce Nix, there appears to be very little room for Brown on the big club- for the time being, and possibly for the future.  Personally, it might be time for the Phillies to trade him and give him a fresh start somewhere. If the Phillies need to fill a serious void in 2012, look for Brown to most likely get included in a package deal.

Michael Martinez breaks foot

As if there aren’t enough Phillies dropping like flies, infielder Michael Martinez broke a bone in his right foot and will be out 6-8 weeks.  Expect the Phillies to wait until the end of camp and different players get released before they make a run at a legitimate backup infielder.

Rotation set for the start of the season

The Phillies' rotation has been lined up for the start of the season. Roy Halladay will take the mound on Thursday, April 5th when the Phillies visit the Pirates at PNC Park. After an off day, Cliff Lee will pitch the second game on Saturday the 7th, followed by Vance Worley on Sunday and Cole Hamels on Opening Day at Citizens Bank Park against the upstart Marlins.

Don’t worry everyone, Worley is merely breaking up the lefty combination of Lee and Hamels. Furthermore, Hamels is much better suited to handle an Opening Day start than Worley at this stage of their careers.   

More to come....


Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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