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Philadelphia Phillies: Chase Utley, Roy Oswalt and Chooch Rehab in Clearwater

Posted By Adrian Fedkiw On May 12 2011 @ 10:40 pm In Philadelphia Phillies | 1 Comment

He’s getting there.

As Chase Utley turned on a fastball in the fifth and deposited it out of Brighthouse field, a big grin could be seen on countless Phillies fans around Philadelphia.

The big club had an off day, but down in Clearwater the Phillies present and future combined to take on the Palm Beach Cardinals. 

In Philadelphia, Comcast Sportsnet aired the game due to the unique circumstances.  So, I had the rare opportunity to check out some Single-A baseball.

The differences between Triple-A and the bigs aren’t vastly different, but at the Single-A level, you could see why a lot of these players have a while to go.  There were some misplays in the field, and some control issues from the pitchers.

Roy Oswalt started, while Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz got some at-bats in.

Obviously, Utley and the knee have been the story in Clearwater.  He has 18 of 20 games remaining in his rehab assignment.

More than anything, I wanted to see Utley run the bases. 

He lead-off the fourth and worked a walk.  Ruiz hit a groundball in the hole to move Utley to second.  He had no limp, no wincing as he went full-board into second.  On the plant rounding second base, once again no limp, no wincing.

It’s a great sign!

Roy Oswalt came in with a 75 pitch limit.

Roy Oswalt didn’t have the normal velocity on his fastball.  Jim Salisbury reported that his fastball read 89-91 MPH on the radar gun.  Carlos Ruiz stated that his fastball had no life.

At the Minor League level, the hitters see mostly fastballs, so I was trying to figure out whether or not Oswalt threw a lot of changeups and breaking pitches due to this or not.  When he threw his fastball the Cardinals got some good swings in.

After a long bottom of the fourth where the Threshers scored two, the Cardinals scored two more in the top of the fifth. 

With the tightness in his back, Oswalt sat for about fifteen minutes during Clearwater’s at-bat in the fourth.  He just didn’t look sharp in that fifth inning.

Overall, Oswalt allowed three earned on seven hits and one walk in five innings pitched.

I’d like to see him get another rehab start in before being called back up. 

Carlos Ruiz, also recovering from a sore back, went 1-for-3 with a single and a run scored.  Most likely, he’ll be brought up tomorrow for the Atlanta Braves series.

As for the game, Clearwater defeated Palm Beach 7-5.

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