March 3, 2012; Clearwater, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley (26) workout before their spring training game against the New York Yankees at Bright House Networks Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Chase Utley Doubtful for Opening Day


CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury reported yesterday that Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley is expected to begin his second straight season on the disabled list.  After Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said last week that Utley’s knee condition might not go away, it was released yesterday that Philadelphia had sent the veteran to see a specialist.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. had said late last week that even though Utley hadn’t appeared in a spring training contest, he was still projected to start the season as the club’s second baseman.

But yesterday Amaro broke the news to reporters that Utley “hasn’t been feeling all that great” and he “hasn’t gotten to the point where he feels confident enough to get on the field without making it worse”.  Since this is the case, Amaro told reporters that he considers it “doubtful” that Utley will be ready to go when Opening Day 2012 rolls around.

Amaro added that Utley is expected back in camp Thursday, and that his condition is being treated by stretching and alignment exercising, not surgery.

Initially, the Phillies planned on holding Utley out of game action so that, in the words of Amaro, “he wouldn’t pound on his knees.  Unfortunately, Utley didn’t progress as the Phillies had hoped so now they are getting a specialist involved.

Philadelphia has been preparing for Ultey’s absence by grooming Freddy Galvis at second base this spring.  The rookie came up as a shortstop, but he’s done a nice job at second during his limited opportunities.

While the Phillies say they are comfortable with Galvis, rumors have spread stating that the club is interested in acquiring a more veteran option from outside the organization.  Boston Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles had his name tied to the Phillies this weekend.

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Tags: Chase Utley Freddy Galvis Mike Aviles Philadelphia Phillies