It’s a brand new day at Phillies training camp, as residual hero Chase Utley came back from that mysterious doctor we know nothing about and re-entered his fabulous spring en route to another MVP-caliber season.
It feels like just a few days ago that the world was torn apart by news of Utley not only suddenly leaving camp to have a grim conversation about his knees in a cold examination room, but hinting that hey, his career might totally be over. Ruben Amaro was his usual extremely helpful self, offering very little information, shrugging a bunch, and then swearing that he isn’t hiding anything. I’m not sure what else you could ask from a GM who has explained quite openly that he lies all the time, whenever he feels like it.
Utley’s return is especially soothing to the nerves, as the Phillies spent the offseason watching their infield depth turn into a shallow pool with a dead bird floating in it. Wilson Valdez was traded to Cincinnati for a relief pitcher who may or may not still be on the roster, and Michael Martinez recently crumpled to the ground in horrendous pain as his foot bones splintered into a few parts. That leaves us with Freddy Galvis, our top position prospect, and Tim Kennelly, who is Australian.
It’s been said that Utley’s return signals he could be back in the lineup as soon as “some point in 2012;” an encouraging prediction to say the least, given the horrible way he left camp. Chase has apparently told reporters he will speak to them Sunday, leaving us plenty of time to stare into space as co-workers and family members talk to us about their days, and suddenly shout “He’s probably totally fine,” at possibly inopportune moments.
Amaro has said “No news,” in regards to the starting second baseman, but it seems fair for us to glean that with Utley back, the news is that he is, in fact, alive; that he is at Phillies’ training camp, walking around; and that ‘the mysterious doctor’ was not asked to put him out of his misery, like in that dream we had.
As usual, as long as we keep the infield in close geographic proximity to each other, we can blindly assume that they will continue performing at optimum levels.