06/23/12 11:54 PM ET
Utley reportedly may be activated Wednesday
By Jake Kaplan / MLB.com
The report, which cites an anonymous source, says that Utley is expected to return to Philadelphia for the last portion of his rehabilitation assignment -- which might include one last rehab game with Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday -- before he is activated. Utley has played in nine games with Class A Clearwater, where he's 5-for-32 with one home run and five RBIs.
The 33-year-old went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and played eight innings at second base on Saturday night, marking the first time during his rehab that he took the field on back-to-back nights. He played all nine innings at second base for the Threshers on Friday night.
The fact that Utley played the field two days in a row is a positive sign. Saturday was the 12th day of Utley's rehab stint. Position players on rehab assignments have 20 days to be activated by their Major League ballclub, so it would make sense that Utley could return this week. Barring any type of setback, Utley has until July 2 to be activated.
The Phillies play a four-game series with the Pirates at Citizens Bank Park starting on Monday.
Victorino gets day off to clear his mind
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel stuck with the same lineup on Saturday that he was set to use before Friday's series opener against the Rays was rained out. That included giving Shane Victorino a day off so the center fielder could relax and clear his head.
"There's no apparent reason," Victorino said before Friday's game. "I've played every game, and I'll be ready to go tonight if they need me defensively or [to] pinch-hit. I'll be ready to go. It's just a day for me to get a day off, nothing more than that."
Victorino has played in all 71 games thus far, more than any player in the Major Leagues. The 31-year-old is hitting .252 and owns a .319 on base percentage, both well below his career averages of .277 and .342. He has eight home runs and 33 RBIs.
Victorino is a switch-hitter, but is hitting just .226 in 208 at-bats from the left side of the plate.
"The thing I see him doing, especially on the left side, his stride's real quick, he gets out in front and they take the sting out of his bat," Manuel said on Friday. "I don't particularly like sitting him, because when he's hitting good, he gives us a chance to win the game. He's played every day so far, but at the same time, the reason that we're resting him is because he's struggled a little bit from the left side."
John Mayberry Jr. started in center field and hit seventh on Saturday.
Lee irked about warming up before rainout
PHILADELPHIA -- Cliff Lee was not exactly thrilled about the fact that he warmed up in the bullpen on Friday night, only to see the Phillies' series opener against the Rays rained out.
Lee didn't throw his warm-up pitches before the game, which was delayed from the start. But when the rain briefly subsided about an hour later and a new start time was set for 8:45 p.m. ET, Lee was told to warm up and threw 30-40 pitches in the bullpen to get ready to start the game. Then, the rain started to fall again and the game was eventually called at 9:53 p.m. ET.
"I could've had my son look at the radar and he could've told me it was gonna rain," Lee said on Saturday. "Somebody got that wrong. I don't know who it was, but it was pretty obvious it was gonna rain. Somebody up there was really adamant about us playing."
Lee added that he looked at the radar twice, once before the game was set to originally start and again before warming up in the bullpen.
"It was pretty obvious that it was gonna rain," he said.
Lee (0-3, 3.48 ERA) will now start the 6:35 p.m. ET game on Sunday, the second game of the twin bill. Cole Hamels (10-3, 3.25 ERA) will pitch in the first game, slated to start at 1:05 p.m. ET.
Kyle Kendrick (2-7, 5.29 ERA) took the mound on Saturday against Tampa Bay's James Shields (7-4, 3.72 ERA), who was scheduled to start for Tampa Bay on Friday.
Pitching coach Rich Dubee said the Phillies decided to have Lee start Sunday's evening game instead of the afternoon game to give him a little extra recovery time after warming up on Friday.
"You've got to make the adjustment," Lee said. "It is what it is. There's nothing I can do about it. I've got to get ready to pitch [on Sunday]."
Stutes set for shoulder surgery on Tuesday
PHILADELPHIA -- Right-hander Michael Stutes will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder on Tuesday, the Phillies announced on Saturday. Dr. Lewis Yocum will perform the surgery.
Stutes had not been progressing as the Phillies would've liked, and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. had said on Tuesday that there was a chance the reliever would have some type of exploratory surgery.
Stutes pitched in only six games this season (0-0, 6.35 ERA) before going on the disabled list on April 22 with what was described as right shoulder inflammation. In 2011, his rookie season, Stutes was 6-2 with a 3.63 ERA in 57 games.
The Phillies' bullpen is also without the services of David Herndon, who had season-ending Tommy John surgery, and Jose Contreras, who is likely out for the season with an elbow injury that will also require surgery.
Roy Halladay, who is recovering from a strained right latissimus dorsi, continues to throw long toss and is "doing fine," Dubee said. Dubee said the club has an idea when Halladay will begin throwing off a mound, but didn't disclose any more details.
A Phillies win and a Marlins loss on Saturday would put Philadelphia in fourth place in the National League East for the first time since May 28.
With Friday's game postponed until Sunday, Saturday's game marks the first time the Rays are playing a game at Citizens Bank Park since Game 5 of the 2008 World Series, when Brad Lidge closed the game by striking out Eric Hinske.
After hitting the ball extremely well with Class A Clearwater, Cody Asche was promoted to Double-A Reading on Saturday. Asche, a third baseman, hit .349 with two home runs and 25 RBIs in 62 games for the Threshers.
Manuel was one win from his 900th career victory entering Saturday.
It's possible a 26th man could be in uniform for the Phillies on Sunday against the Rays at Citizens Bank Park. In a rule established in the most recent collective bargaining agreement, clubs can have 26 players on the roster for day-night doubleheaders that occur at least two days after the original game is rained out. The Phillies have not yet said if they will take advantage of the rule. If they do, they would likely promote a player from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, which is currently in the midst of a three-game series at Columbus.
Jake Kaplan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.