Tested by playing time, Utley in good form

Tested by playing time, Utley in good form

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies second baseman Chase Utley started 30 consecutive games before getting a day off Sunday.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said he likes what he has seen from Utley, who started each of the last two seasons on the disabled list because of knee problems. He entered Wednesday hitting .253 with seven doubles, two triples, eight home runs and 23 RBIs in 44 games.

"He tells me he feels very good," Amaro said. "As long as he feels good ... it looks like he's moving well. He's swinging the bat with authority. His average isn't real Chase-like yet, but I think overall his production has been very good."

Of course, the trick will be finding a way for Utley to come into next season healthy. They can't afford to have him miss another two-plus months of the season.

"He prepared himself well," Amaro said. "He'll try to prepare as well as he can. I know we're going to be on top of making sure that when it's time to come to Spring Training he's ready to go."