Originally written on Phillies Nation  |  Last updated 11/19/14

Chase will be looking from the dugout Opening Day.

Chase Utley!!!!  He was not in the clubhouse, surprise surprise, earlier as the team spoke with reporters.  He did, however, hold a mini ‘presser’ and addressed some things. Utley spoke to reporters and said he would not be ready for Opening Day and didn’t have a time table for his return.  He still thinks he can contribute this season and laughed at the rumor he was retiring.

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As hard as this spring has been with injuries for the Phillies it seems they finally caught a break.  Ryan Madson looks to miss the entire 2012 season after the Reds announced their new closer has torn his elbow ligament clean off the bone.  The Cincinnati closer is scheduled to have Tommy John surgery soon to repair it.

I have never been one to wish harm on anyone and this is an awful situation for Madson and the Reds but, whew, I am pleased it happened after he left the Phillies.  There was a lot of back and forth with Madson after the season ended.  One morning I woke up reading that he would be the Phillies closer only to then find out Rube signed Jonathan Papelbon.  It’s just crazy how some things work out.  Best of luck to him after the surgery.

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Opening Day is right around the corner and the Phillies won’t have to leave their home state of Pennsylvania for it.  They open against the Pirates in Pittsburgh.  This past week the Phillies announced the rotation for their first series of the season and to no one’s surprise it will be Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee having first dibs at wins.  Surprisingly Vance Worley goes third giving Cole Hamels the nod for the home opener.  This says nothing about Hamels, or Worley for that matter.  Hamels in the home opener is good for business and the Phillies.

Worley, in his last start, looked shaky at first but went six innings (five scoreless after the first) and struck out seven Yankee split-squaders.  He has been impressive at times this Spring.

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As I am sure many of you have heard, the Mini Mart is shut down for business.  Well what little business he did.  The Phillies back up to the back up Michael Martinez broke a bone in his foot and could be out 4-6 weeks.  Ruben Amaro stepped up and expressed regret, sort of, in trading Wilson Valdez.  The Phils could definitely use him right about now.

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The new ride at Six Flags or Hershey Park this summer should be called ‘The Dom Brown Experience.’  The ride will be a lot of ups and downs, maintenance delays, high expectations and lots of waiting.  Not sure what the deal is with Domonic Brown and the Phillies but it doesn’t like they can get on the same page.  Once again, he has been optioned down to Triple-A to begin the season.  It has been a rough Spring for Brown dealing with thumb and neck issues.  Let’s hope he rakes the first month and then dons Phillies pinstripes from there on out.

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The guys here at Phillies Nation were excited, and humbled, to be named Best Phillies Fan Blog by USA Today.  We owe it to all you readers out there.  We do this for you guys, and couldn’t do it without you.  So thank you!

Go Phillies!

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