Utley Takes Fielding and Batting Practice

The Phillies are out in Arizona for a three-game series, the same place that second baseman Chase Utley is doing his rehab.

Utley joined the team today, shagging grounders and doing a little batting practice before the Phillies took on the Diamonbacks. Manuel said that Utley’s legs looked stronger.

Here are some Utley soundbites from his interview today with reporters:

On hitting:
“Yeah, last two weeks or so I’ve been swinging the bat. No pain whatsoever, which in my opinion, is a positive sign.”

On fielding:
“Still getting used to it in the field. Overall, it’s much improved since the end of spring training.”

On running:
“I’ve done running. I’ve done a lot of things over the last three weeks to get me to this point. There’s still some things I need to do to get ready to play games. But I think we’re right on track.”

How much longer until a return?:
“It’s hard to tell. So far, on a daily basis, I’ve been feeling good. I haven’t had to slow things down. Being here for a little longer (in Arizona) will benefit me. At some point I’ll meet with the team and continue to do more baseball stuff with the team. Then we’ll see what happens.”

Manuel was also asked about the possibility of playing Utley at first and Freddy Galvis at second if he returns before Ryan Howard: “We’ll figure that out when we get there. When we have to decide on that, we will.”


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