Utley may join Phils' lineup next week
Second baseman takes part in sliding drills; Feliz returns
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Chase Utley walked into the Phillies' clubhouse Friday morning with one of his white pant legs stained bright green.
Fresh grass stains.
Utley, who is recovering from offseason surgery to his right hip, hadn't tripped and stumbled down a hill. He was at the Carpenter Complex sliding, which had been considered a final step toward returning to game action.
"It went well," Utley said after Friday's 6-5 loss to the Pirates at Bright House Field.
Word is that Utley could make his first Grapefruit League appearance sometime next week.
"I'm getting closer," Utley said.
Pedro Feliz, who is recovering from offseason surgery on his lower back, is no longer close to getting into a Grapefruit League game. He played in one Friday. He went 0-for-2 and made a few plays at third base.
Feliz said there is no doubt that he will be in the Phils' Opening Day lineup on April 5.
"Opening Day?" Feliz said. "I'm ready today."
Feliz said he has felt no discomfort in his back, and said he is close to 100 percent.
"I'm happy to be back in the field," Feliz said. "I felt real comfortable."
Blanton tunes up: Right-hander Joe Blanton allowed five hits and two runs in 4 2/3 innings Friday. He also struck out two.
Blanton has a 3.72 ERA in three Grapefruit League appearances.
"He's fun to watch," pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "He pitches with a great tempo. He works quick. He pounds the strike zone. He used all his pitches today. He got a good workout today."
Mosebach does OK: Right-hander Bobby Mosebach, a Rule 5 Draft pick, allowed two hits, one run and one walk in 1 1/3 innings.
"Overall, [he was] not bad," Dubee said.
Mosebach is competing for a bullpen job. If he does not make the 25-man roster, the Phillies must place him on waivers. If he clears waivers, he must be offered back to the Angels. The Angels have indicated to Mosebach that they would like him back if he doesn't make the Phils' 25-man roster.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.