Jesse Crain has a calf strain

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Jesse Crain injured his right calf the other day. Evan Drellich reports that an MRI has confirmed the original diagnosis of a strain.

While Bo Porter characterized the diagnosis as good news — coulda been worse — it’s just the latest in a series of health issues for Crain. He had biceps surgery in the offseason and the calf is going to set him back some more. This will likely place Chad Qualls in line to be the Astros’ Opening Day starter.

Phillies considering Chase Utley for bench coach

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Sports radio personality Howard Eskin is hearing a fun rumor that the Philadelphia Phillies are considering Chase Utley to be their bench coach.

Utley hasn’t retired yet, but he is almost 39, is a free agent and is unlikely to find anything beyond a bench role at best at this point. Time for a career change? Who knows, as this popping up over Thanksgiving makes it hard to confirm or deny one way or the other. It’s fun to think about, though. Over the past four or five years, as Utley’s production has declined, he has been widely praised as a good clubhouse presence and mentor, so it would not be hard to imagine him transitioning into a formal coaching role.

Utley, of course, played for the Phillies for thirteen seasons. If he’s going to break into coaching, he’s most likely to do it there.