Utley has hip injury

“Chase has been bothered by a little bit of an injury," Phillies general manager Pat Gillick said. (Tom Mihalek/AP)

From Paul Hagen at the ballpark today:

There has been some thought recently as second baseman Chase Utley’s slump has deepened that the All-Star second baseman must be hurt.

Pat Gillick confirmed the speculation Sunday.

“Chase has been bothered by a little bit of an injury that he’s been playing with,” the general manager told the Daily News. “(He’s) having a little bit of a problem with his hip. It’s been a little bit sore. Nothing to keep him out of the lineup, but certainly if it’s sore a little bit it could have some effect on his hitting.”

Utley was a career .300 hitter at the start of this season. Through the first 33 games this year, he was hitting .362 with 13 homers and 26 runs batted in and appeared to be well on his way to becoming the third straight Phillies player to be named the National League’s Most Valuable Player.

In 72 games since, however, he’s batting just .253 with 12 homers and 45 RBI.

He had a pair of singles in Sunday’s 12-10 win over the Braves at Citizens Bank Park, leaving his overall average at .288.

After the game, Utley continued to deny that he’s hurt.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he said with a smile. “That’s a good question, because I don’t know anything about that. I understand why you’d ask the question because I think I’d ask the same question.”

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