4/23/2014 1:47 A.M. ET
Utley gets a break despite solid numbers in LA
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- It seemed a certainty that Phillies second baseman Chase Utley would be in Tuesday's lineup at Dodger Stadium.
He is 2-for-4 with two home runs against Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, and his 1.019 OPS at Dodger Stadium is his best at any National League ballpark and his best among ballparks in which he has played 10 or more games.
But Utley instead found himself on the bench, with Freddy Galvis at second base.
"I'm fine, I'm fine," Utley said. "Just a day off."
Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg explained.
"It's about the long haul, the long season and the long haul," he said. "He was on his feet a lot in Colorado [over the weekend], four-hour games, a lot of pitches thrown. Just part of it to keep everyone for the full season, to keep everybody healthy."
Utley, who missed two games earlier this month because of the flu, has started 17 of the season's first 19 games. He is hitting .391 (27-for-69) with nine doubles, three home runs, 12 RBIs and a 1.086 OPS, which ranks fourth in baseball.
"Just want to give everybody a chance," Sandberg said.
Hamels' return gives Phils rare healthy status
LOS ANGELES -- Health has been a big issue for the Phillies the past few years.
From the beginning of the 2012 season through Tuesday night's game at Dodger Stadium, the Phillies have had just five days when they have not had an everyday position player or member of their five-man rotation on the disabled list. It happened in '12 for a brief stretch when Roy Halladay finished his stint on the DL on July 17 before Placido Polanco went on the DL on July 23.
Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels will be activated before Wednesday's game against the Dodgers, giving them their sixth healthy day over the past two-plus seasons.
The Phillies haven't had a completely healthy team since the final month of the 2011 season, when they won a franchise record 102 games.
• Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon returned to the mound and earned the save on Tuesday. He was unavailable Monday because of flu-like symptoms. If a save situation had presented itself Monday, Phillies left-hander Jake Diekman would have got the call in the ninth inning.
• Jayson Nix started at third base against Hyun-Jin Ryu, keeping Cody Asche on the bench two consecutive games against left-handers. Asche started eight of the team's first 10 games, but just five of the last 10. He is hitting .196 with two doubles, one home run and three RBIs in 46 at-bats.
"Continuing to get bench guys in there for a spot start," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "It goes a long way with quality as we go forward in key situations with those guys."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.