All-Star second baseman Chase Utley, on the disabled list since July 27 with a broken hand, was given a green light to take batting practice yesterday.
While a timetable for his return has not been set, it would appear that Utley is on pace to arrive before the month is out. Most estimates predicted a five-week return. Utley is hitting .336 with 17 homers and 82 RBIs and is still considered a strong candidate for NL MVP despite the setback. Since the injury, the Phillies have held their own, going 13-9 since Utley was plunked on the hand by Washington’s John Lannan.
Hernandez goes on DL; Castro recalled: After appearing in one game, right-hander Yoel Hernandez was placed on the DL with a sore right shoulder. Hernandez was recalled from Ottawa Sunday to replace Mike Zagurski, who’s out with a bad hammy.
The Phillies have called up 22-year-old left-hander Fabio Castro from Ottawa, where the Phillies had been stretching him out as a starter, trying to iron out his control problems. In 69 1-3 innings between Ottawa and Reading, he has a 3.50 ERA and 67/36 K/BB ratio.
Like the Russell Branyan move, this transaction falls under the “why didn’t they just do it the first time” category. The Phillies needed a left-hander. Hernandez doesn’t fill a need and hadn’t been pitching particularly well. Not that I'm expecting Castro to be lights out. There's a growing school of thought down in our comments section that believes Castro could have been Adam Eaton's replacement in the starting rotation. I do not share that belief. They will be lucky if Castro can pitch one pressure-free inning unscathed.