Ryan Howard and Chase Utley continue to inch their way back to playing shape. Yesterday Utley took batting practice and then some grounders. According to the report by Bob Brookover, however, the infield practice was limited and, given that playing second is what gives his knee the most trouble, there’s a lot of reason for tempering optimism.
Howard, however, played in what the Phillies call a simulated game on Wednesday and, between that and the other workouts he’s been doing, seems like he’s poised for a rehab assignment soon.
Ken Rosenthal reports that the Phillies are talking to the Blue Jays about outfielder Curtis Granderson.
Rosenthal says that the Phillies are looking at Granderson as a bench bat and fourth outfielder to be deployed against righties. Granderson, 37, is hitting .230/.337/.417 with nine homers and 29 RBI over 81 games this season, substantially better against righties. Against lefties he’s a clear liability.
Granderson was traded at last year’s deadline too, from the Mets to the Dodgers, but cratered badly after arriving in L.A. and was a non-entity in the playoffs.