No timetable yet for Chase Utley’s return

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General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. updated Chase Utley’s status yesterday, although there really wasn’t a whole lot to update.

Amaro told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that Utley “is moving forward” with his rehab from chronic knee problems and “his strength seems to be improving.”

However, there’s still no timetable for Utley’s return and so far there isn’t even any talk of him seeing game action at extended spring training.

Utley and the Phillies haven’t exactly been forthcoming about his status throughout all this, but his being able to simply workout again without significant discomfort is a positive development at the very least.

Zach Davies replaces Gio Gonzalez on the Brewers roster

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Major League Baseball just announced that it has approved a roster substitution for the Milwaukee Brewers due to the ankle injury sustained by Gio Gonzalez: right-handed pitcher Zach Davies will take his place. In accordance with league rules, Gonzalez will be ineligible to return if the Brewers make it to the World Series.

That rule is designed to prevent roster gamesmanship such as having a pitcher fake an injury after he’s done being used in an effort to give a team a fresh arm in a short series. A second layer on that is an independent consult with the league, which may approve or disapprove the request based on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. In this case, Dr. Gary Green, MLB’s Medical Director, confirmed Gonzalez’s injury after communicating with the Brewers’ evaluating physician. Not that anyone can really suggest that Gonzalez was faking. The dude’s ankle went sideways.

That being said, this is a benefit to the Brewers at least for the short term. Davies did not have a fantastic season, going 2-7 with a 4.77 ERA in 13 starts and failing to make the Brewers’ initial postseason roster, but he is fresh — he hasn’t pitched since September 28 — which could prove very useful for Craig Counsell and the Brewers after last night’s 13-inning game.