Two homers for Howard; Utley in field

Posted: June 16, 2012

Ryan Howard, continuing his rehab from a torn left Achilles tendon, went 3 for 4 with two home runs and a double during a rookie-league exhibition game Friday in Clearwater, Fla.

Chase Utley also played, going 1 for 5 with a walk and playing four innings at second base. Laynce Nix was 1 for 3 with a homer and two walks in the game between the Williamsport Crosscutters of the New York-Penn League and the Gulf Coast Phillies.

Howard has yet to run hard, but he did jog part of the way to first base each time he batted and later did some baserunning work on another field. He has not begun an official rehab assignment. Nix did not run the bases in the game but also did some baserunning work.

Utley, who began his rehab assignment Tuesday, was 1 for 13 (.077) in three Florida State League games for the Clearwater Threshers over the previous three nights, but was the designated hitter in each game. He has expressed little concern over the results, looking more to see live pitching and make progress.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel expects Utley, who has yet to play with the Phils this year because of chronic knee pain, to follow a progression similar to last season's, when he slowly played more innings at second base. Utley can spend a maximum of 20 days in the minors, and Manuel expects him to use most of that time before he returns.

"I'd say it'll be the first week of July more than likely," Manuel said.


Inquirer staff writer Matt Gelb and correspondent Eddie Michels contributed to this article.

 

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