Chase Utley eyeing mid-June return

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Phillies second baseman Chase Utley strained his right oblique muscle taking cuts during batting practice prior to the team’s May 21 game against the Marlins. Initial estimates had the veteran missing between two weeks and a month. Today marks two and a half weeks. CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that the 34-year-old is feeling good and is hoping to return some time in mid-June.

“I’m definitely feeling better,” Utley said Friday evening. “Hopefully I’ll take some swings in the next three or four days and at that point I’ll known where I’m at. I actually feel like I could have swung today, but I want to play it safe.”

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Utley began taking ground balls a week ago and has responded well. Once he gets a reading on his condition after starting to swing again, he will have an idea of when he might be ready to go on a minor-league rehab assignment. He might only need a game or two in the minors once he’s healthy.

Utley had been his team’s most productive player prior to the injury, hitting .272 with an .814 OPS in 177 plate appearances. Domonic Brown hadn’t quite caught on fire at the time Utley went on the disabled list.

White Sox place Avisail Garcia on disabled list with strained hamstring

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MLB.com’s Scott Merkin reports that White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring. The club called up outfielder Daniel Palka from Triple-A Charlotte.

Garcia, 26, suffered the injury during Monday’s game against the Mariners. He is off to a slow start this season, batting .233/.250/.315 with a home run and four RBI in 76 plate appearances.

Palka, 26, has been playing well for Charlotte, batting .286/.384/.476 with three home runs and seven RBI in 73 PA.