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."