Chase Utley of the Philadelphia Phillies gets set to throw before the start of a MLB baseball game against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Lest we forget, it wasn't really so long ago that Chase Utley played really well in the major leagues.
Last season, after missing April and most of May, Utley returned to the Phillies' lineup and played well until slumping in September; in October, though, Utley batted .438 in a losing effort against the Cardinals in their Division Series.
But the same sort of knee and hip injuries that cost him a big chunk of 2011 have cost him a bigger chunk of 2012. But now, finally, there's this:
Chase Utley will begin an official rehab assignment with Clearwater (A) tomorrow. He will DH.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) June 11, 2012
The limit on a minor-league rehab assignment is 20 days, so if everything goes well, Utley will rejoin the big club and enter the lineup in early July, at the latest.
You can see why the Phillies might miss him.
Of course, with the Phillies now eight games out of first place and 5½ out of the second Wild Card, Utley's return might be too late, whenever it happens.