Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and manager Charlie Manuel agreed with their second baseman.
"If you ask 100 percent of these guys, maybe 99 percent would say they have some kind of ailment or soreness," Amaro said. "It's just part of being an athlete."
Manuel said, "If you play baseball every day, more than likely you're going to be sore."
Utley's average had slipped from .315 to a season-low .257 over the last 27 games going into Friday. During that span, he batted .177 (17 for 96) with one home run and four RBIs. He said those numbers have nothing to do with his "aches and pains."
"I don't see a correlation," Utley said. "Obviously you want to try to find an excuse for why I'm not swinging the bat that well and there is no excuse. It has been a little bit of a battle here the past month. I'm just trying to make some adjustments, tinker with some things. It's part of baseball. It's something you have to deal with. It's something I've been through before and a lot of people have to deal with it. Like I said before, I'm doing everything I can to try to get back on track."
Utley said his knee is not the only thing that has bothered him this season.
"It depends on the day," he said. "I've iced my ankles, I've iced my knees, I've iced my back. There are plenty of things that bother you as far as pain. Some days it's good and some days it's not so good. I actually feel pretty good right now."
The interview with Lopes was conducted by Baseball Prospectus and focused on the Phillies' baserunning. Lopes, who is in charge of the team's running game, said the Phillies' stolen-base attempts this season have been down for a variety of reasons. The Phillies' 38 attempts are the fewest in the National League even though their 89-percent success rate is the best in baseball.
Lopes listed the absence of injured shortstop Jimmy Rollins and a lack of aggressiveness by Jayson Werth as two reasons. The third reason was Utley's knee.
"All I can say is that Davey is not our spokesman for the medical staff," Amaro said. "That comes from me or [assistant GM] Scott Proefrock or [trainer] Scott Sheridan or [team physician] Dr. Ciccotti. This is not an injury. This is more preventative."
Utley stole a career-high 23 bases in as many attempts last season, but has just five attempts and four steals this season. Again, he insisted that those numbers had nothing to do with any sort of injury.
"I haven't been on base as much," he said when asked about his stolen-base attempts. "In my situation, you have to pick your times when you want to steal a base. When you have the middle of the lineup up, you definitely don't want to run into an out. Teams have done a better job of holding us on, which I think is a credit to them, but when there is a base to be had we're going to take it."
Despite his sagging batting average, Utley has still been on base quite a bit. Thanks to a team-high 38 walks, he has a .377 on-base percentage, which is just two points below his career on-base percentage.
"If we're playing the game tonight and he needs to steal a base at a big moment, I think you're going to see him run," Manuel said.
Manuel and Amaro insisted that Utley does not need a day off.
"If I think Chase Utley needs a rest, I will give him a rest," Manuel said. "Really. If I think that we were better off resting Chase Utley, then I will give him a rest."
Both the manager and general manager also know that Utley has no desire to rest.
"Believe me, he's going to be all right," Manuel said. "He's going to work and he's going to get himself right. That's who he is. That's what makes him good. He's a great player."
Ruiz hit in head
Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz had to leave the game after being hit in the back of the head during the final out in the top of the eighth inning. Jason Kubel's bat shattered on his back swing and nailed Ruiz, who remained on the ground for a while after the inning ended.
Brian Schneider replaced Ruiz in the ninth and the Phillies' starting catcher was taken to Thomas Jefferson Hospital after the game.
"Chooch right now has a headache and he's going to the hospital to get checked out," Manuel said. "They'll possibly do a scan on him and see exactly what's going on. He was never unconscious, but he was definitely dazed."
Rollins continued his rehab assignment Friday night with single-A Clearwater and had a hit, an RBI and scored a run.
Amaro said the plan beyond Friday depended upon how Rollins' right calf felt.
Phillies lefthander J.A. Happ allowed four runs on five hits in five innings during his rehab outing with double-A Reading Friday night.
Reliever Ryan Madson, on the disabled list since April 29 with a fractured toe, was given medical clearance to throw Friday and had a 25-pitch session in the bullpen that went well.
Contact staff writer Bob Brookover at 215-854-2577