Whispers: Phillies eager to get Utley back

Hitting is at a premium so far this season

May 15, 2011|By Phil Rogers

The Phillies could get Chase Utley back by the middle of the week. Maybe that will put manager Charlie Manuel in a better mood. He barked at a reporter who suggested scoring is down everywhere. "That doesn't mean we have to have that damn problem," Manuel said. "That's like saying if somebody jumps off a bridge, we're going to jump off the bridge with them. The hell with that." … The Mets' fire sale could start as soon as Memorial Day. There's not an untouchable on the roster, including third baseman David Wright. Carlos Beltran, who had a three-homer game Thursday, could become a person of interest. … No team walks less than the Cubs, who entered the weekend with four hitters walking fewer than once every 30 plate appearances (Darwin Barney, 33.5; Alfonso Soriano, 33.3; Starlin Castro, 31.6, and Marlon Byrd, 30.6). No big league regular is walking less than the A's Coco Crisp, who was averaging 62 plate appearances per walk. … Nationals prospect Bryce Harper is hitting better than ever after being fitted with contacts. He's about to be promoted out of low ClassA, possibly to Double A. … This weekend's series against the Red Sox could determine how hard the Yankees look to add a lefty to their roster, which has only CC Sabathia and Boone Logan.Victor Martinez has played a big role in the Tigers' closing in on the Indians. He has been hitting when teams pitch around Miguel Cabrera, which was general manager Dave Dombrowski's plan when he signed Martinez. … Nobody has been more clutch than the Rangers' Michael Young, who opened the season 19-for-36 with men in scoring position. … Despite having two closers on the disabled list in Brad Lidge and Jose Contreras, the Phillies entered the weekend with the highest save percentage in the majors, according to Stats Inc. Ryan Madson had gone 5-for-5 since taking Contreras' place.

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