Chase Utley Back In Action Tuesday Night

Lately, the news about Chase Utley just gets better and better. From Paul Hagen this morning (via Philly.com):

Chase Utley will step up his rehab tonight, making his first official rehab start for Class A Clearwater. This is significant first, because it is his first affiliated game. Second, it will be his first action on back-to-back days. Utley played in extended spring training games on Saturday and Monday.

As Hagen points out, players can stay on rehab assignments in the minors for only 20 days, which means if everything checks out physically, Utley will be activated by May 29 at the latest. Obviously, the Phillies would love to have him back with the big club before then, especially considering the combined .235/.283/.277 line — worst in the National League — posted by Phillies second basemen this season.

Meanwhile, in other rehab news, Hagen reports that Utley will be joined in the Threshers lineup Thursday night by Roy Oswalt and Carlos Ruiz, which might set some sort of record for MLB talent in a Class A lineup. If I were going to be in Clearwater this week, I know what I would be doing …

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