By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Phillies said before Spring Training began that Chase Utley’s on-field activities would be limited. Two weeks into their time in Clearwater, Utley hasn’t played a game, and some people are asking if Utley’s injury is more serious than was previously indicated.
“I think it’s safe to say that there’s something going on,” Todd Zolecki, Phillies reporter for mlb.com told 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and The Morning Team on Tuesday. “A couple things stick out; one is that before Spring Training started, they said they were going to take things slowly with him and Placido Polanco. They said you’re not going to see them on the field a lot. You’re not going to see them doing a lot of different things that a normal player would do, but Polanco’s been playing. He’s been in and out. Play a game, rest a couple of games, whatever. Chase is not only not playing in games, he’s not taking ground balls, he’s not running. The only thing he does before every game is he’ll play catch, and he’ll taking batting practice, and that’s it.”
The Phillies did say they’d take it slow with Utley, but not this slowly. “So that seems a little suspicious in the sense that, that was not what was said before Spring Training started,” Zolecki said.
Utley’s absence isn’t the only thing that could be a sign that he’ll be out for an extended period of time, it’s who has been filling in for him. “Freddy Galvis has played almost exclusively second base over the last few days,” Zolecki said. Galvis has been generally thought of as the heir apparent to Jimmy Rollins at shortstop. “So to me that says maybe they’re getting him ready in case Chase Utley isn’t ready to go, or if they still don’t think Chase is going to be able to play five games a week or something like that. Because in my opinion, maybe Freddy Galvis is a better offensive player than Michael Martinez might be. So if you need somebody for the long haul, maybe Freddy Galvis is better than Martinez.”