Updated: 5:15 p.m.
MIAMI – Chase Utley is not in the Phillies’ lineup on Wednesday night and will undergo an MRI on Thursday in Philadelphia.
Utley felt pain and a burning sensation in his right rib cage after taking a swing in batting practice Tuesday night and was scratched from the Phils' 7-2 victory.
"I was texting back and forth with Scott Sheridan, our head trainer, and, that's life," general manager Ruben Amaro told CSN. "You have to deal with it. [Utley] is a guy who's in perfect condition, he's in great condition. He eats right, prepares himself better than anybody, and yet he takes one swing and pulls his rib cage. This is part of the game, part of life. Hopefully you have the reinforcements to be able to cover."
Rib cage or oblique strains are taken seriously in baseball. Throwing and hitting requires much twisting and puts pressure on the torso. Teams treat oblique injuries aggressively at the outset so they don’t linger. Given this it would not be a surprise to see Utley end up on the disabled list, but the final call won't come until after doctors determine the severity of the injury with the MRI.
“When he took a swing, he felt a little burn, a pain in his rib cage,” manager Charlie Manuel said of Utley after Tuesday's game. “Sometimes if you keep playing that can get more serious and you lose time. I’ve had those things. It’s hard to breathe, really hard to swing. We’ll see. Hopefully we don’t lose him for very long.”
If Utley ends up on the DL, Freddy Galvis would become the second baseman. The Phils have several candidates at Triple A who they could recall to bolster the bench, including outfielder/first baseman Darin Ruf, and infielders Cesar Hernandez, Pete Orr and Michael Martinez.