Monday, July 28, 2014
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What Utley's addition means for rest of roster

By now you know: Chase Utley has been activated from the 15-day disabled list and will play second base Tuesday. That will be the talk before the game, but the corresponding roster move is of interest too.

What Utley's addition means for rest of roster

Second baseman Chase Utley has been activated from the disabled list today. (AP Photo / Tom Mihalek)
Second baseman Chase Utley has been activated from the disabled list today. (AP Photo / Tom Mihalek)

By now you know: Chase Utley has been activated from the 15-day disabled list and will play second base Tuesday. That will be the talk before the game, but the corresponding roster move is of interest too.

Greg Dobbs was designated for assignment to make room for Utley. Now that shouldn't come as great surprise: Dobbs has been simply awful this season. He is 2 for his last 25 and hitting .191 this season with a .569 OPS. As a pinch hitter, he was even worse, batting .119 with a .434 OPS.

That's bad.

Wilson Valdez, who started at second while Utley was out, will become the primary backup infielder. He can play second, short and third and will be valuable as a reserve because of his versatility.

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But in Dobbs' departure, rookie Domonic Brown remains. The Phillies made it no secret last week they would prefer Brown in the minors until Sept. 1 so he can have regular at-bats. In the last four games, Brown has two at-bats. He pinch hit Sunday night only to be pinch-hit for by Ben Francisco when the Mets brought in a lefthander.

Perhaps Brown is staying because Ross Gload (right groin strain) isn't ready to play yet. Assistant GM Scott Proefrock said Sunday the team wasn't considering the disabled list for Gload and they expected him to be fully available Tuesday.

Or maybe the Phillies changed their stance and decided Brown should stay and can add value to the bench while staying sharp enough.

Still, when/if Gload is ready, will Brown still stay? The Phillies carried 13 pitchers for two days last week when Los Angeles was in town. Yes, it leaves Charlie Manuel's bench short, but the way the pitching staff is constructed, it almost begs the Phils to carry 13.

Let's be real: The staff consists 10 pitchers -- David Herndon and Danys Baez don't count. Both pitchers aren't trusted by Manuel and are at the back of the bullpen. Both will remain on the roster for a multitude of reasons, though. So to add a second lefthander in the bullpen, the Phillies would have to go to 13 pitchers.

When September comes and the rosters expand, this will be easier. In the next two weeks, the Phillies may have to be creative to make it work.

Come September, Dobbs could be back, too. He cleared waivers the last time he was designated for assignment in June. If he does that again this time, he would probably accept a minor-league assignment with the hopes of being recalled when rosters expand.

Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
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The place for up-to-the-minute Phillies coverage from The Inquirer beat writer Matt Gelb and columnist Bob Brookover.

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