Chase Utley has left the building

Could Chase Utley return to the Phillies lineup on Monday?. (Mike Carlson/AP Photo)

It looks like Chase Utley has played his last game for Clearwater, at least for the time being. According to several people down in Florida, including Phillies' prospect Jiwan James, Utley packed up his things last night in order to fly back to Philadelphia.

A Monday return to the active roster appears to be a strong possibility.

Once Utley is activated, the Phillies will have a roster decision to make. For the first two months of the season, they have carried utility men Pete Orr, Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez, all of whom have gotten playing time at second base. Orr and Martinez have played more than Valdez lately.

Logic suggests that the Phillies will decide to part with one of the three. If they are determined to retain control of all three, they could send Orr down to the minors, since he has options remaining. Valdez would have to be exposed to waivers. And Martinez is a Rule 5 pick, meaning the Phillies would have to offer him back to Washington if they remove him from the active roster.

Optioning Orr would probably make the most sense at this point, since he is a left-handed bat and Utley is a left-handed bat.

Download our NEW iPhone/Android app for easy access to all of our Phillies coverage, plus app-exclusive videos and analysis. Get it here.

Continue Reading