CLEARWATER, Fla. -- These are big baby steps.
Phillies second baseman Chase Utley will start Friday's intrasquad game at Bright House Field, and is expected to start Saturday's Grapefruit League opener (at 1:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV) against the Houston Astros. That is noteworthy because Utley has not played in a Spring Training game since 2010 because of chronically injured knees.
"He's going to get at least one at-bat [Friday]," manager Charlie Manuel said. "He's going to play like two or three innings. Yeah, he'll probably play [Saturday]. He probably won't play Sunday. I think he worked hard this winter. The way he's swinging right now and the way he looks, you can tell he's willing to pay the price to get back to where he was. He wants to play quite a few more years. That's good."
Spring rotation may mirror Phils' plan for regular season
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Nobody is ready to say it, but the Phillies have lined up their rotation for their first five Grapefruit League games like it is the first week of the regular season:
1. Cole Hamels, Saturday vs. Astros (1:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV).
2. Roy Halladay, Sunday at Tigers (1:05 p.m. ET).
3. Cliff Lee, Monday vs. Tigers (1:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV).
4. Kyle Kendrick, Tuesday vs. Yankees (1:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV).
5. John Lannan, Wednesday at Twins (1:05 p.m. ET).
Pitching coach Rich Dubee said earlier this week that Hamels, Halladay and Lee will open the regular season in Atlanta, and that he plans to split up left-handers Hamels and Lee with a right-hander. Considering Hamels had the best year of the big three last year, it makes plenty of sense Hamels will start Opening Day on April 1 at Turner Field.
"I'm not saying that it's likely yet, no," Dubee said, when asked if this is the likely order of the rotation in April.
But it sure makes a lot of sense, at least right now.
Pitching timeline for Adams won't begin until March
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee posted the team's pitching schedule through Feb. 28, and the only pitcher not scheduled to pitch is Mike Adams.
No surprise there. That had been the plan entering camp.
Adams is recovering for thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, so the Phils are taking things slowly with him, although he is following a regular schedule early in camp. Dubee said Adams will pitch sometime in March.
"Oh, fine," Dubee said, when asked how Adams is doing in camp. "Mike might need seven appearances. He might need nine appearances. There's no reason to get him out there right now. But, health-wise, he's doing fine."
• The Phillies have agreed to contracts with nine players: right-handers Phillippe Aumont, Justin De Fratus and Jonathan Pettibone; left-hander Joe Savery; infielders Freddy Galvis and Cesar Hernandez; outfielders Domonic Brown, John Mayberry Jr. and Ben Revere.
• Dubee said right-handers Adam Morgan and Pettibone will start Friday's intrasquad game at Bright House Field.
• Manuel is happy with the first seven days of camp. "So far Spring Training is really going good," he said. The things he likes most? His team is healthy, except for right fielder Delmon Young. Manuel said while he expects Young to open the season on the disabled list, he doesn't anticipate him missing a lot of time.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.