Good news for all you tortured Phillies fans.
According to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, second baseman Chase Utley passed his ImPACT concussion test Saturday with flying colors and has been cleared to resume baseball activities.
Utley was diagnosed with a mild concussion Wednesday after he was struck on the top of his batting helmet by an Eric O’Flaherty pitch.
He’s no longer experiencing concussion-related symptoms, but the first-place Phillies will continue to employ a precautionary strategy. Utley, despite his progress, probably won’t return to the Philadelphia starting lineup until the end of next week. He is scheduled to take another ImPACT test on Monday morning.
The 32-year-old is batting .262/.344/.441 with 10 home runs and 41 RBI through 88 games this season.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.