Chase Utley was activated Friday, 28 games after he hit the 15-day DL with a strained oblique. His return will be welcomed, as Phillies second basemen in his absence hit .179 with a .250 on-base percentage and just one extra-base hit in 28 games.
With Utley and Carlos Ruiz back, the Phillies will field their projected lineup for just the sixth time in 74 games. It will be interesting to see how Utley's presence impacts the batting order itself. Charlie Manuel implied Wednesday that he didn't want four of his top five hitters to be lefties, which suggests Ben Revere could move down. If Revere does move down, it would be to seventh, where Manuel prefers him.
That would shift Jimmy Rollins to the leadoff role, and likely result in Michael Young batting third. Utley would hit second in that scenario.
In 44 games this season, Utley has hit .272/.339/.475 with seven homers, seven doubles, two triples, 25 RBIs and 21 runs scored.
Utley went 0-for-9 in a two-game rehab stint at Reading that was more about swinging and not feeling pain than results. He remarked after the second game that he felt "100 percent."
The Phils have a three-game set with the Mets this weekend. They're 9-1 in their last 10 meetings with the Mets and have outscored them 60-24.
Cole Hamels (2-10, 4.45) takes on Jeremy Hefner (1-6, 3.96).
In 15 starts, Hamels has received 31 runs of support. The only pitcher in baseball who has received less support in that many starts is Ricky Nolasco (28).
It's nothing new to Hamels, who in 2010 received just 81 runs of support all season. Max Scherzer has already received 81 runs of support in 14 starts this year.
Hefner has allowed 12 earned runs in his last three innings against the Phillies. Seven straight Phillies reached base against him last September, and six straight reached base to start the game on April 10. Get the leadoff man on Friday and those "Here we go again" thoughts will race through his mind.
Phillies lineup (as predicted)
1) Jimmy Rollins, SS
2) Chase Utley, 2B (Phils 2B hit .179/.250/.189 in his absence)
3) Michael Young, 3B
4) Ryan Howard, 1B
5) Domonic Brown, LF (5 for 37, two RBIs last 10 games)
6) Delmon Young, RF
7) Ben Revere, CF
8) Carlos Ruiz, C (5th time catching Hamels this season)
9) Cole Hamels, P