Good News on the Injury Front for Phillies

Posted by Mike Frohwirth

The Twitterverse has been buzzing with Phillies news this weekend, almost all of it positive.

Chase Utley played a semi-simulated game today!

Utley played a few innings in the field, ran the bases, and batted against pitching coach Rich Dubee. The Phillies will see how Utley feels tomorrow, before determining the next stop. The Wilson Valdez Era could be over by June…

Brad Lidge played catch!

Lidge could also return by June. Hopefully, as a seventh-inning option, preceding Ryan Madson and Jose Contreras.

J.C. Romero will have a minor league rehab appearance soon, and should return by Wednesday.

The Phils will likely go back to seven relievers, with Romero replacing catcher Dane Sardinha (currently backing up catcher Brian Schneider, as starting carcher Carlos Ruiz gets a few days off). Hopefully, Phillies' Manager Charlie Manuel keeps Romero LOOGYfied, and doesn't decide his veteranosity merits an eighth-inning role (ahead of current closer Ryan Madson).

Roy Oswalt should return to the team on Wednesday or Thursday, and make his next start on Saturday or Sunday.

With Joe Blanton currently on the Disabled List, it will be good to have Oswalt back. With Vance Worley taking Blanton's place, the next in line for a spot start (assuming the Phils want to keep Kyle Kendrick in relief, and use a stretched-out starter) might have been a AAAer, such as Eddie Bonine or Ryan Feierabend (not good options).

Jose Contreras is expected to begin throwing in a few days.

Contreras needs to return before Manuel works Madson or Antonio Bastardo into a DL stint.

Domonic Brown is moving up to Lehigh Valley (AAA) on Monday!

Brown is getting closer… It's unclear how long he'll stay in AAA. Probably not too long if Ibanez continues to struggle. Matt Miller was sent down to Reading (AA), opening a spot for Brown.

Brian Bocock was activated from the DL, and assigned to Lehigh Valley.

OK. I may be the only one excited by this. Infielder Rob Hudson was released to make room for Bocock.

Manuel announced that, when Utley returns, he plans to return Jimmy Rollins to the leadoff spot.

Ugh. The sixth-best hitter in the lineup getting the most plate appearances? Not exactly optimal.