Notes: Utley back, Iguchi to bench
All-Star's return to lineup moves fill-in into reserve role
PHILADELPHIA -- Across the Phillies' clubhouse from each other, Chase Utley and Tadahito Iguchi had different schedules.Utley, the face of the Phils, was making his much anticipated return to the lineup on Monday after breaking his right hand on July 26. He started and batted second, going deep in the fifth inning off Mets starter Brian Lawrence. Iguchi, who kept second base warm while Utley mended, prepared for his new role as a pinch-hitter and part-time player. "This is a first-time experience for me. All I can do is prepare and be ready to help this team win in any way," said Iguchi, who hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer in Monday's 9-2 win over the New York Mets, and is 4-for-5 with two homers and eight RBIs as a pinch-hitter. "Chase Utley is a very important part of the team, and it's a good thing that he's back." Iguchi said he hasn't been asked to play third or any other position, and manager Charlie Manuel reiterated on Monday that Iguchi, who has hit .301 in 27 games, will serve off the bench.
"I'm willing to do anything to help the team," he said. "Obviously, what's best for the team is for Chase to play."Redemption: Not that he can bear the sight of it, but Adam Eaton can see his 6.36 ERA and know that his return to the Phillies' organization hasn't gone well. With a right shoulder that feels much better than it did two weeks ago, Eaton has the chance to do some good. "Any time you make the playoffs, you forget the struggles," Eaton said. "Yeah, you mention that we struggled in the beginning of the year and the injuries. But the end result is what counts, and that's making the playoffs, then winning the World Series." Before landing on the 15-day disabled list, Eaton suffered a rough stretch in which he posted a 7.96 ERA in 10 starts, and lasted fewer than five innings in his previous two. After his start against the Mets on Tuesday, Eaton could have five or six make-good starts for a team that needs to make up ground on two playoff fronts. "This season's results haven't been to my liking and they shouldn't be to anyone else's liking," Eaton said. "I feel better, because I can get my arm to do what I want. The two weeks off have helped." Garcia done? Freddy Garcia has a second appointment with orthopedist Dr. James Andrews, to discuss his ailing right shoulder. The meeting in Birmingham, Ala., is scheduled for Thursday. Garcia made three rehab starts, the last two for Single-A Clearwater, and his velocity hasn't risen above 84 miles per hour. Andrews, who earlier this season recommended rest and rehabilitation, could opts for surgery this time. Garcia is earning $10 million this season and will be a free agent this fall. Back soon: Russell Branyan was designated for assignment to make room for Utley, and could return on Sept. 1 when rosters expand, assuming he clears waivers. Acquired on Aug. 9 for cash from the Indians, Branyan went 2-for-9 for the Phillies. Both hits were home runs, including a game-winner against Washington on Aug. 14. Motivation: A few of Iguchi's teammates kidded him about Japan's loss in the Little League World Series, and the second baseman laughed it off. "That was unfortunate," he said. "It was a good chance to beat the Americans. I wasn't happy, but it's just another game. It was good that they got there, and they can use it as motivation to get to the big leagues." Told that Branyan once played for the Warner Robins (Ga.) Little League team that beat Japan in the championship on Sunday, Iguchi found another connection. "The way they won [on a walk-off homer] reminds me of the one Russell Branyan hit at Washington [on Aug. 14]." Condrey for sale: Earlier this month, reliever Clay Condrey joked that he'd get rid of his televisions if he had surrendered Barry Bonds' record-setting 756th home run. Condrey said that he wouldn't want to watch the highlights repeatedly, but added that he'd rent one to watch the Bassmaster Classic, an annual competition in professional bass fishing. That line led to him getting contacted by ESPN, the network that airs the event, and a free subscription to a magazine. A light bulb went off in the avid fisherman's head. "My pitches are for sale," he said, with a laugh. "My fastball is a [Shimano] Calcutta TE 40 [casting reel] and my curve ball is a NITRO 929 Bass Boat. I don't even throw a curveball, but I'll learn." Operators are standing by. Arizona here we come: The Phillies will send seven players and Triple-A Ottawa manager John Russell to the Arizona Fall League, where they will suit up for the Peoria Saguaros. Philadelphia will be represented by pitchers Joe Bisenius, J.A. Happ, Scott Mathieson, Josh Outman, 2007 first-round Draft pick Joe Savery, catcher Lou Marson, third baseman Michael Costanzo and outfielder Greg Golson. Philling in: Shane Victorino missed his third game on Monday after leaving Friday's game when he apparently reaggravated his right calf muscle. He said for the past two days that he's felt fine, but understands why he wasn't in the lineup. "[Jayson Werth] went 5-for-5 [on Sunday]. If I was the manager, I'd play him, too." ... According to a baseball source, the Phillies have inquired about closer Bob Wickman, who has been designated for assignment last week by Atlanta. Coming up: Eaton, who opposes the Mets' Tom Glavine on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET, threw a 40-pitch rehab outing with Double-A Reading on Friday. The righty has struggled this season, but is 5-0 record and a 1.89 ERA in five career outings against the Mets.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.