Sometimes lost in all of the hype surrounding the Philadelphia Phillies starting rotation is that with an average age of 32.3 years the team will be fielding the oldest lineup in franchise history. The first bit of drawback to fielding such an aged team is beginning to rear its ugly head today with the Phillies announcement that star second baseman Chase Utley is still suffering from knee problems that are calling into question whether or not he’ll be ready for opening day.
You can almost feel the frustration from the Phillies medical staff in the team’s press release.
His chondromalacia symptoms persisted in spite of focused non-operative care, including a cortisone injection. A subsequent cartilage-specific MRI was obtained confirming the initial diagnosis. Continued non-operative treatment is being carried out and additional opinions will be obtained.
Obtaining additional opinions in this case seems to me as though the exasperated Utley might be forced to consider surgery as a means of fixing up his seemingly incurable knee trouble. With the Phillies believed to be maxed out salary wise, there’s little doubt that the team would once again look to internal options to fill in for Utley, who missed almost fifty games last season.
Barring that, Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman suggests that the Phillies would do well to consider signing David Eckstein. How that man keeps a straight face, I’ll never know.
Aside: Hey Stoeten, how’s that Tulowitzki for Utley fantasy baseball trade sitting with you now?