Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks

Chase Utley nearing return from disabled list

4 Comments

At least that’s how it seems right now.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told David Hale of the Wilmington News Journal that Chase Utley would be the designated hitter with High-A Clearwater tonight before playing in the field again Saturday. After that? They’ll “reassess” where he’s at.

Utley has yet to play in three consecutive games in the field during his minor league rehab assignment, but Amaro doesn’t think that would necessary stand in the way of his return.

“Frankly I don’t know how many games he’s going to play three in a row here.,” Amaro said. “We may be in a situation when he comes in the big leagues where he’s one game on, one game off, two games on, one game off. He might play three games – I don’t know. A lot will depend on how he feels. But I think we’re going to have to monitor him when he gets here.”

Hm, sounds like he could be back sooner rather than later wouldn’t you say?

By the way, entering tonight’s action, Phillies’ second basemen are batting a pathetic .234/.284/.290 with a .574 OPS this season. Yes, the National League’s best team is about to get much better.

MLB may introduce “tacky” baseballs in 2018

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 25: Baseballs sit in the St. Louis Cardinals dugout prior to a game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on April 25, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by David Welker/Getty Images)
Getty Images
5 Comments

Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.

They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.

As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.

Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.

Here we go: Tim Tebow reports to Mets camp

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - SEPTEMBER 20: Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Mets speaks at a press conference after a work out at an instructional league day at Tradition Field on September 20, 2016 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
11 Comments

The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.

Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.

The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.

In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: