Chase Utley is visiting with a “rehabilitation specialist” today

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General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. revealed that Chase Utley and Phillies trainer Scott Sheridan are spending today visiting with a “rehabilitation specialist.”

Amaro declined to give any other details, but told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that Utley and the Phillies are “trying to exhaust all ways not to have surgery” for the patellar tendinitis in the second baseman’s right knee.

Utley has not been cleared to do any running or fielding, and Salisbury writes that his chances of being ready for Opening Day are “extremely remote.”

Tigers sign Francisco Liriano

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Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports that the Tigers have signed Francisco Liriano to a one-year, $4 million contract.

Liriano split time between the Blue Jays and Astros last year, putting up a 5.66 ERA in 38 games, 18 of which were starts, striking out 85 and walking 53 in 97 innings. He pitched two-thirds on an inning in the World Series, but overall it was a pretty substandard season. But hey, those innings ain’t gonna eat themselves, and Liriano will eat some in Detroit.

Not to speak ill of him: he is almost certainly the second best Francisco Li- player in the division.