Tuesday night he’ll take the field in front of a sell-out crowd at Coca-Cola Park with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, in what is expected to be his last rehab start.
“I plan on playing the majority of the game,” Utley said. “I’m optimistic. I’m encouraged by the way things went down in Clearwater, and I’m excited to get back up here.
“Every day, it seemed like it improved… every single day. Playing defense, it got a little bit better. Running the bases daily, it got better. I’m encouraged by that.”
I’m not sure what level of optimism you have, but the city is close to turning it’s back on 2012, and understandably so. The Phillies are in 4th place in the N.L. East, and eight full games behind the first place Washington Nationals. It’s hard to imagine this season turning around at this point, but to the Phillies credit they do usually play their best baseball when their backs are against the wall.
Chase Utley thinks it’s possible.
“I know there are some people who have given up on me. There are some people who have given up on this team. I’ll be the first one to tell you that I definitely have not given up on myself and our guys have not given up on this year. We have strong-willed guys on this team.”
Maybe, just maybe the team can buy into this and run with it.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that there’s plenty of time.”
For a few day, I think I might even bite.
Also, check out my new T-Shirt shop.