From Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer comes word that Phillies second baseman Chase Utley has been ruled out of this weekend’s series against the Brewers due to a mild concussion.
Utley suffered the slight head injury on Wednesday night when he was struck in the batting helmet by an Eric O’Flaherty pitch. He’s not in any kind of pain, but the first-place Phillies have the luxury of playing this one as safe as they could possibly desire.
That’s what a 10-game lead will do for you.
Utley won’t take his IMPACT concussion test for another two days. If he passes — and it sure sounds like he will — the 32-year-old should be cleared to return to the Philadelphia starting lineup in time for Monday night’s series opener against the Astros.
Utley is batting .262/.344/.441 with 10 home runs and 41 RBI in 393 plate appearances this season.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.