If you thought your Tuesday couldn’t get any better, then listen up: According to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, Chase Utley is going to start playing actual baseball. Not simulated games or extended spring training games, but real, bonafide, baseball games.
He’ll begin his rehab tonight with the Clearwater Threshers, the Phillies Single-A affiliate in Florida. From there, it’s anyone’s guess as to how long he will be in town, or what the Phillies expect out of him in terms of time needed to get ready to face Major League pitching.
Obviously, he is progressing pretty well with his rehab and the organization feels that he is healthy enough to start getting into actual games, even if they are at the Minor League level. And given the speed at which they’ve moved along with him, that is to say, they don’t seem to be rushing this along, then that speaks volumes about how both he and the team feels about his health right now.
It’s amazing that only a couple of months after news broke that he had a pretty significant knee injury for which the solution was rather nebulous, that he would be on the precipice of reclaiming his rightful spot on the roster.
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He is still a bit away from making it back to the club, and keep in mind that any setback, however minor, could push his return back considerably, but it’s not out of the question that he could be back in the Phillies lineup on June 1st.
For a team that’s been rather short on good news lately, this is a very welcome breath of fresh air.
Now, about that injured right fielder…