Phillies to give Chase Utley limited playing time this spring

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In an effort to keep him healthy after last season’s knee problems the Phillies are planning to limit Chase Utley’s playing time during spring training.

Charlie Manuel told Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inqurier that Utley won’t be in the lineup for the Phillies’ spring opener Saturday and “it might be a little while before I play him.”

Utley and Manuel talked previously about the plan and the second baseman is fine with the limited action, warning: “You guys might not see me on the field on a daily basis, so don’t freak out if that happens.”

Utley missed 59 games last season and also posted career-lows in batting average (.259), on-base percentage (.344), and slugging percentage (.425). Of course, career-lows for Utley are still pretty good, as his .769 OPS was significantly above the NL average for second baseman (.699).