(NEW YORK) — With the Phillies offense reeling, the click is officially ticking on the return of second baseman Chase Utley. The baseman is set to begin his rehab assignment today in Clearwater, Florida.
Utley has yet to play this season thanks to chronic knee soreness. The same condition limited the former All-Star to just 103 games in 2011. Utley will start out as a DH before the team feels he’s ready to play the field. This will begin a 20-day minor league rehab clock. Utley can return to the Phillies lineup on July 2.
It wasn’t that long ago that the now 33-year-old Utley was considered one of the best all-around second baseman in baseball, winning the Silver Slugger Award from 2006-2009. The past two seasons though, he’s been limited production wise because of the his knees. A career .290 hitter, Utley hit just .259 with 11 home runs and 44 runs batted in.
Heading into Tuesday night’s games, the Phillies are 29-33, which puts them last in the NL East division. The Phillies also rank just 14th overall in runs scored.
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James Hanlon, CNN
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