Utley expected to return to lineup Monday

The Phillies, who have gone eight straight games without scoring more than three runs, are about to get some much needed reinforcements.

Second basemen Chase Utley will be in the clubhouse for today’s game against the Texas Rangers, and is expected to make his season debut on Monday against the Cincinnati Reds after missing the beginning of the season with patellar tendinitis in his right knee. Utley is not expected to play every day right away as both Ruben Amaro Jr. and Charlie Manuel want to make sure the knee injury does not flare up again.

Unlike Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez who would have to be put on waivers to be sent down to the minors, Pete Orr does not which means he will likely be the man sent down to open up a roster spot for Utley.

Utley’s return could not come at a better time. The Phillies’ anemic offense has struggled to give their starters any run support, and haven’t been able to put up at least four runs in over a week. Utley’s ability to hit the long ball, something his replacements (Valdez, Orr, and Martinez) have not been able to do, should significantly improve this feeble offense and get more runs on the board.


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