Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly has some exciting news for those anxiously awaiting the return of Phillies second baseman Chase Utley.
According to Salisbury’s sources, Utley has been deemed “ready to intensify his workouts” and will head to the Phillies’ spring training complex in Clearwater, Florida on Friday to begin playing in extended spring training games.
Once the Phillies have seen enough from Utley in the exhibition tilts, they will have him meet up with the organization’s Florida State League affiliate for true live action games. Then he’ll move on through the Phils’ minor league system before eventually meeting up with the big league club.
If all goes according to plan, Utley should be back in the majors by the end of this month.
The All-Star second baseman has been sidelined since spring training with patellar tendinitis.
The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.
Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.
Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.
Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.
Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.