Friday, December 26, 2014

Chase Utley moving fast

The first official workout of the spring isn't until Saturday, but there's already plenty of action at the Phils' spring training facility.

Chase Utley moving fast

Jim Salisbury reports from Clearwater:

The first official workout of the spring isn't until Saturday, but there's already plenty of action at the Phils' spring training facility.

Chase Utley is here and his recovery from off-season hip surgery is moving quickly. Utley did some light running today, then took ground balls -- nice and easy -- for the first time. He said he will be swinging a bat soon.

Both Utley and manager Charlie Manuel said today that opening day remains a realistic possibility for Utley -- if he doesn't have any setbacks.

Utley looks strong. He said he ended last season ``in the low 180s'' and is now in the ``high 190s.'' The injury last year prevented him from doing his normal lower-body weight work.

If Utley is not ready to open the season, infield prospect Jason Donald could break with the team. He has arrived early and is working at second base. Donald is a natural shortstop, but has begun playing second and third.

Cole Hamels did some light throwing in the outfield.

Infielder Anthony Hewitt, the team's top pick last June, has been invited to camp as part of a contractual obligation. Hewitt took some BP and hit some rockets out of a Bright House Field. The big question with Hewitt is if he'll make enough contact to make it to the majors. But the kid has big power and an athletic build. Utley called him Bo Jackson. Hewitt needs several years in the minors. It'll be fun watching him make the climb.

Coolest thing we saw today: The sign on the clubhouse door, welcoming you to the home of the 2008 World Series champs.

Later.
 

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