Odds and ends: Manuel still expects Utley back by Opening Day

Charlie Manuel watches the Yankees warm up before their game against the Phillies. (David Swanson/Staff Photographer)

 Some odds and ends from George Steinbrenner Field, where earlier today the Phillies fell to the Yankees 7-1...

1) Still no update on Phils second baseman Chase Utley, who had a cortisone shot on Friday. But manager Charlie Manuel said he still expects to see Utley in the line-up on Opening Day. As for his more immediate future, Manuel said he expects an update at some point this week.

“I’ll probably know in a couple days or the end of the week what’s up,” the manager said. “It kind of sounds that way. I think we’ll be all right there. I think we’ll see him."

Veteran righthander Roy Oswalt, who allowed three earned runs in 2 2/3 innings in the loss, was also optimistic about Utley’s return.

“I think he'll be fine,” he said. “I think it's spring training. They don't want to put him out there everyday.”

2) Wilson Valdez provided the lone offensive highlight, clubbing a solo home run against Hector Noesi in the sixth inning. Valdez, who played second base yesterday and would be the first option if Utley missed time during the regular season, is 9-for-17 with two extra base hits this spring. Ben Francisco, who went 0-for-3 yesterday but overall is 8-for-25, with two doubles, a triple and two home runs, is the lone regular off to a hot start.

Jimmy Rollins is 5-for-24, Ryan Howard is 6-for-22 with six strikeouts, Placido Polanco is 5-for-21, Shane Victorino is 6-for-21, Raul Ibanez is 4-for-20, and Carlos Ruiz is 2-for-8.

3) As expected, Domonic Brown's hamate surgery will take place tomorrow. Brown was in Philly today meeting with hand specialist Randall Culp. He is expected to be back playing competitively in four-to-six weeks.

4) For more information on Brown's surgery, here is our story that ran in the newspaper today. Ross Gload and Ben Francisco have both had the procedure, and both say it is minor.



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