The Phillies infield remained incomplete in Milwaukee Thursday night despite the return of one of their stars.
Starting shortstop Jimmy Rollins returned to the team but not the starting lineup after a stint on the 15-day disabled list.
The Phils were also without the whole right side of the starting infield. The Phightins kept second baseman Chase Utley in Philly for observation and first baseman Ryan Howard was given a night off. Manager Charlie Manuel decided to rest Howard and his ailing left heel.
Without J-Roll, Utz or the Big Piece the Phils open the four-game set with the National League Central leading Brewers with a makeshift lineup featuring just three regulars. Regrets to starter Cole Hamels who has a history of not getting the best run support.
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1. Shane Victorino - CF
2. Wilson Valdez - SS
3. Placido Polanco - 3B
4. Hunter Pence - RF
5. John Mayberry, Jr. - 1B
6. Carlos Ruiz - C
7. Ben Francisco - LF
8. Michael Martinez - 2B
9. Hamels - P
Howard could be back Friday but Utley won’t. The Phillies gritty leader was hit on the back of the helmet Wednesday by a pitch from Atlanta reliever Eric O'Flaherty and MLB's new concussion protocol dictates two days of rest.
Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said that it was unlikely Utley would play this weekend series. Proefrock said that Utley would have tests to determine if he had a concussion.
Rollins was placed on the disabled list on August 22 with a strained right groin. Manuel said that Rollins was available, but would see limited time.