Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

The line-up juggling continues: Utley at first, Coste batting fifth

Lots of stuff to get to. . .

The line-up juggling continues: Utley at first, Coste batting fifth

Lots of stuff to get to. . .

First, you'll see a familiar face on first base today, but it won't be Ryan Howard. Chase Utley will make the 23rd start of his career at the position as Charlie Manuel juggles the infield to get rookie Brad Harman his first major league start. Against left hander Zach Duke, Manuel wanted to get right-handed bats in the line-up. Which means So Taguchi will play right field and Jayson Werth will play center. Utley doesn't seem fazed by the move. He played 13 games there in 2004, 6 in 2005, 2 in 2006, 1 in 2007. He's made one error there.

The interesting thing is that Utley has been on fire in the field lately. After making some uncharacteristic errors early in the season, he's made at least two great plays at second in each game of this road trip.

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That means the Phillies have a middle of the infield composed of Eric Bruntlett and Harman, two guys you wouldn't have expected to be on the field at the beginning of the season. I asked Manuel how much of a learning curve there was when two new guys play with each other, and he said there was a small one, but that he didn't think it would be much of a factor. These guys have been playing infield there whole lives, after all.

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Chris Coste had been sidelined a couple of days with flu-like symptoms, but he said today he is 100 percent. He'll need to be - he's batting fifth behind the ultra-hot Pat Burrell.

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I'm still receiving emails from people wondering whether Jimmy Rollins foot is broken instead of sprained. Apparently some web site I've never heard of threw that information out there, but all the reports I'm getting is that Rollins has a sprained ankle. He took some infield practice today in Florida. That's not something you do on a broken foot.

David Murphy Daily News Staff Writer
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