Chase Utley reportedly flew back to Philadelphia late Monday night for a follow-up exam on his right thumb.
According to an update on the team Web site, Utley, who has been out since June 28 with a torn ligament suffered while sliding into second, jetted back to Philly following a rehab doubleheader in Clearwater. The odds of being activated for tonight’s series opener or being sent back to the minors for more rehab appear to be even at this stage. Utley, who was hitting .277/.383/.466 with 11 homers before the injury, went 3-for-12 with two triples and an RBI single and an error while trying to turn a double play in four rehab games. [Link]
Phillies finalize deals: The Phillies inked 20th-rounder Kevin Walter, 21st-rounder Jon Musser and 28th-rounder Brian Pointer to last-minute, over-slot deals hours before the midnight signing deadline for June draftees. However, they fell short of meeting expectations for fifth-rounder right-hander Scott Frazier, who has committed to NCAA powerhouse Pepperdine, and ninth-round outfielder Brenton Allen. “The Phils spent about $1 million on deadline day, but instead of giving it to one guy (Frazier), they chose to spread it out across three guys, Musser, Walter and Pointer,” writes James Moyer of Phuture Phillies. “I know that some people are going to be upset about this, but look at it this way. Are the Phillies better off risking all of their money on one guy, or spreading that risk over three guys?” Read his comprehensive take here.
Biddle bombed: So far, so good for Phillies 2010 first-round pick Jesse Biddle, who has been pitching for the Phillies Gulf Coast League, but yesterday he was rocked for his worst outing yet, allowing five runs on seven hits in only an inning of work. In nine starts, he’s 3-1 with a 4.32 ERA with a 41/9 K/BB ratio in 33 1-3 innings. A good start overall.
Braves stun Dodgers: Melky Cabrera's two-run single off Octavio Dotel with the bases loaded in the ninth inning capped a three-run rally that lifted the Atlanta Braves to a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday night. The win pushes the Braves to a 2.5-game lead in the National League East.