Originally posted on Philly Sports World  |  Last updated 4/28/12

Cliff Lee underwent an MRI on Thursday to confirm his diagnosis of a strained oblique. No timetable has been set for his return.

The Philadelphia Phillies dropped a game to the Chicago Cubs last night, dropping them to 9-11 on the season. They currently trail the NL East leading Washington Nationals by 5 games.  Their offensive woes have been no secret, and they could certainly benefit from getting some of their regulars healthy.

Chase Utley continues to rehab his chronically painful knees with a rehab specialist in Arizona. Utley joined the Phillies during their series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. Said the team will know more in a week, but Utley “seems to be progressing really well.”

Ryan Howard has seen a wound specialist twice in the past couple of weeks to see where he is at in his recovery from surgery to repair his ruptured Achilles’ tendon. Howard may be cleared to resume baseball activities in the next week or so. His return to baseball could be a significant boost for a Phillies’ team that has struggled to consistently score runs.

Pitchers Cliff Lee and Michael Stutes has MRIs on Thursday to ascertain the extent of their injuries. The MRI confirmed that Cliff Lee has a grade 1 oblique strain. Lee is eligible to be activated from the disabled list on May 4th, but Amaro said the Phillies will be cautious with Cliff Lee. No timetable has been set for him.

Michael Stutes, who had been pitching through shoulder pain has a strained rotator cuff. Though the strain is mild, however Stutes will be shut down from pitching for at least a few weeks.

The Phillies are currently ranked 14th out of 16 National League teams in runs scored with 64. They are averaging 3.2 run per game, but that number is inflated by the occasional offensive outbursts we have seen, like when they scored 20 runs in the Arizona series.  That’s almost 1/3 of their runs this year coming in one series.  That tends to skew the numbers some. Somehow the Phillies are in the middle of the pack in batting average, but as I pointed out a week or so ago, they are not getting timely  and clutch hits with runners in scoring position, as evidenced by the fact that they rank 14th in RBIs. It has certainly been a struggle at the plate for the Phillies, and until a move is made or Howard and Utley come back and re-find their primes, I don’t see it getting a whole lot better any time soon.  At least the Miami Marlins are worse and have taken over the basement in the NL East.

Similar Posts:

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  • Can the Phillies Compete without Howard (and Utley)?
  • Phillies Odds and Ends – Dom Brown, Martinez, Utley and the Walking Dead
  • Phillies Odds and Ends – Injuries and Roster Breakdown

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