Chase Utley announced on Sunday that he will not need surgery for his ailing knees, but he will not be ready for the Season Opener. He will be visiting a new specialist in Phoenix, and is working on strengthening the areas around his knees. It is uncertain when he will be back, but he is optimistic he will be back this season.
This is all coming after Ryan Howard suffered a setback earlier in the month, and probably won’t be back until around June. Losing Utley and Howard gives an opportunity for newcomers Ty Wigginton and Laynce Nix to capitalize. John Mayberry will also need to step up in order for this lineup to produce.
Replacing Utley in the starting lineup will most likely be 22 year-old Freddy Galvis, who has had a decent spring. He is hitting .273 in 66 Spring at-bats, with 2 homers, 3 doubles, and 2 triples. Although he provides some pop in the lineup, it does not compare to what a healthy Utley can do at the top of the order.
The Phillies will be leaning heavily on their three aces to start the season, because their usual top two run producers are going to be out for an extended period of time.