Chase Utley says he's coming back early

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The last prognosis we heard regarding Chase Utley was that it would be eight weeks before he could make it back to the Phillies’ lineup.  Todd Zolecki is tweeting, however, that Utley is planning on coming back sooner than that, saying that it will take five weeks to heal, one week to get his mobility back and then it’s go-time.

I’m sure he can do it if he sets his mind to it because he’s Chase Utley and that’s just how he’s wired.  But there’s a big difference between being tough enough and determined enough to start playing baseball sooner than people thought you could and actually playing baseball at a high level within that time frame.

Put differently: someone who is not as emotionally involved in Chase Utley’s comeback needs to determine whether a 60-75% effective Chase Utley is preferable to a 100% Wilson Valedez or whatever.

Wait, I’m even asking that?   

Hunter Pence appeared as guest on Bill Nye’s new show

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Bill Nye — yeah, “the science guy” — has a new show on Netflix called Bill Nye Saves the World. His show ties science to other areas such as politics, pop culture, and sports. Giants outfielder Hunter Pence was invited to appear as a guest.

Nye talked a bit about Pence and marveled at the dedication players must have to stay competitive in the sport. Nye called Pence “a cool guy” and “charming,” which is not surprising.

Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start with forearm tightness

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Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start against the Dodgers after four-plus innings due to tightness in his right forearm, the team announced. He’ll be reevaluated tomorrow. Needless to say, though, a forearm injury is very concerning. In his four innings, Miller gave up three runs on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts, raising his ERA to 4.09.

Miller, 26, has had a nightmare of a time since joining the Diamondbacks in December 2015. Last year, he made 20 starts and posted a 6.15 ERA. He suffered a finger injury suffered from scraping his hand on the pitcher’s mound with his follow-through, and he was also demoted to Triple-A during the summer as well.