Chase Utley is expected to be in the Phillies lineup tonight. And based on how he played for the Iron Pigs last night, he seems ready.
As Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com reports, Utley had himself a great game which, more importantly, made him look ready to contribute:
Chase Utley had two hits, smoked the ball three times, smashed a long home run to right-center, fielded two challenging chances flawlessly and sure looked ready to return to the major leagues.
Charlie Manuel said that Utley has the three-hole when he’s back in the Phillies lineup. Barring something unexpected, that should be this evening.
Astros’ star second baseman José Altuve underwent surgery on his right knee, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports. Neither the specifics of the surgery nor a concrete timetable for the infielder’s recovery have been officially confirmed by the club yet.
Altuve, 28, suffered the injury in July after he jammed his knee on a close play at third base. Even after he completed an initial 3.5-week stint on the 10-day disabled list, chronic knee pain continued to dog him in the months that followed. As manager A.J. Hinch told reporters on Thursday, he would have held the second baseman out of the lineup under any other circumstances, but instead chose to commend Altuve for showing up and pushing through the pain as the Astros tried for a repeat championship title this postseason.
Per McTaggart, the Astros expect Altuve to make a full recovery by spring. The perennial All-Star infielder finished his 2018 run with a .316/.386/.451 batting line, 13 home runs, and an .837 OPS through 599 plate appearances. He fared slightly worse during Houston’s ALDS and ALCS campaigns, slashing .265/.324/.412 with three extra-base hits over 37 PA. The Astros were eliminated by the Red Sox during Thursday’s 4-1 loss in ALCS Game 5.