Chase Utley appears poised to enter the Phillies lineup, having rejoined the big club this weekend and declared ready by his manager. In his postgame presser following the Phils' 2-0 Sunday loss, Charlie Manuel said Utley would be in the lineup tomorrow against Cincinnati.
The team is expected to be careful and judicious in its use of Utley, perhaps starting him every other game for a while or just mixing in far more off days than he's seen throughout his career to date. It hasn't been pretty, but the Phils have weathered the storm of not having one of their best hitters through nearly two months of the season.
Somehow (hint: pitching) they are still the first place team in the National League.
Although it's obviously great news that one of the game's best-hitting second basemen will rejoin a lineup that has gotten paltry production from the position to date, we don't know what exactly Utley will bring to the plate. The team will still be without Shane Victorino for a bit, but it's hard to imagine the lineup not getting a boost from Chase's return. Still, he's been away from big league pitching since October and could need some time to get his game together at the plate. There's also no guarantee he stays healthy for long.
But, the wait is over. The Phillies aren't the Phillies without Chase Utley, and the WFC is back.
Pete Orr was optioned to make room for Utley's activation.
In other roster news, Joe Blanton was placed on the DL, with Vance Worley being recalled. The Phils have also agreed to terms on a minor league deal with outfielder Scott Podsednik.
Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-US Presswire
The Sixers on Friday announced that center Nerlens Noel will undergo a minor surgical procedure on his left knee to address an inflamed plica.
Noel appeared in the Sixers' first preaseason game, but has been sidelined since Oct. 6 because of a left groin strain.
While undergoing treatment, Noel reported left knee soreness, which led to the discovery of the inflamed plica.
Noel's status for the season opener on Oct. 26 was already in question, and knee surgery should officially rule him out. There is no timetable for his return.
No surgery for Bayless
The Sixers also announced that Jerryd Bayless' left wrist ligament injury will not require surgery.
Bayless, who has been a limited participant in training camp, will be reevaluated in two weeks.
The logam at the center position has dominated talk surrounding the Sixers as they approach the start of the 2016-17 season.
While a trade has yet to be made, Bovada believes there's a good chance two of the team's three young centers won't be in Philadelphia by season's end.
Bovada released their NBA player props for the upcoming NBA season Tuesday, listing Nerlens Noel (5/7) and Jahlil Okafor (8/5) as two of the league's favorites to be dealt before February's trade deadline. On the other hand, Noel's odds to not be dealt are even, while Okafor's odds to remain a Sixer past this season are 4/9.
Kings swingman Rudy Gay was between Noel and Okafor with the second-best odds to be traded at 5/9. Gay's teammate DeMarcus Cousins had the fourth-best odds at 3/1.
Bovada's over/under player props featured bets involving six different Sixers. Joel Embiid's rookie stat line was set at 13.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. In five preseason games, Embiid has averaged 11.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in just 14.4 minutes of action. If his limited preseason action is any indication, Embiid could certainly reach Bovada's averages once his minutes restriction comes off.
Here are the rest of the Sixers' over/under prop bets:
- Jahlil Okafor: 15 points, 6.5 rebounds
- Nerlens Noel: 9.5 points, 7.5 rebounds
- Gerald Henderson: 10.5 points
- Robert Covington: 12.5 points
- Dario Saric: 5.0 rebounds