WITHOUT A CHASE?

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CHASE UTLEY IS GETTING BACK INTO THE SWING OF THINGS IN CLEARWATER

Recent news indicates this may not be the case for long. Our gritty, hard-nosed second baseman is rehabbing hard and has his sights set on opening day (as do we all). Phillies.com reports that Chase has taken two sessions of batting practice this week. In typical Chutley fashion, Chase didn’t offer much information on the two sessions, simply saying “it went well.”

The Inquirer’s Gerry Fraley noted that in addition to taking batting practice, Utley continued to field ground balls and worked on turning the double-play. Driving the ball and pivoting on twin killings will probably be the two areas Chase needs to focus the most on. We saw his hip injury lead to a sever power-outtage toward the end of last season and the turn on the double play has always been his achilles heel when it comes to fielding (although lately, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better defensive second baseman in the league).

Finally, on Friday, the Daily News’ David Murphy quoted Ruben Amaro Jr. as saying that Chase might be able to play in some Spring Training games in Florida. But forget about that Amaro, what does Chase feel his chances of being ready for opening night are?

“I would say my chances right now are – I don’t want to jinx myself, but – fair to quite fair,” Utley said yesterday. “I think it’s pretty realistic at this point,” Utley said. “We’ve pushed it over the past week-and-a-half, 2 weeks that I’ve been down here and it’s responded extremely well. We’re not overdoing it yet but we are putting it to a good pace and I think we are all pretty comfortable with it.”

As an idol of mine would say, “Chase Utley, you are the man.”

-Corey

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