PHILADELPHIA -- Chase Utley does just about everything he can to avoid the spotlight, but he had no choice Monday when he and Ryan Howard filmed an upcoming episode of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."
Phillies fans who watch the show on FX remember the episode when Philadelphia native Rob McElhenney's character, Mac, wrote a love letter to Utley. Utley said he first saw the episode when a friend e-mailed him a link of the scene, where Kaitlin Olson's character, Dee, read the love letter.
"I thought it was pretty funny," Utley said.
Utley said the show contacted him a while back about appearing in an episode.
"I've watched the show a couple times and it's a funny show," Utley said. "I figure I'd give it a shot."
Utley said he is unaware of any love letters from real-life Macs.
Durbin likely bound for short DL stint
PHILADELPHIA -- Chad Durbin walked to his locker late Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park with a sly grin on his face.
He had strained his right hamstring in the ninth inning of a 7-6 victory over Cleveland, but he said it isn't as bad as Phillies manager Charlie Manuel made it sound during his postgame press conference. Manuel said, "He blew out a hammy. I would say it's pretty serious. He definitely popped it."
Durbin said while he expected to be placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday, a team doctor said it probably is a Grade 1 strain. Durbin said the typical recovery timetable is 10 to 14 days, although recovery could take three weeks.
The Phillies are hoping it doesn't take longer than 15 days, because they don't have much pitching depth in the bullpen. Phillies right-hander Ryan Madson and left-hander Antonio Bastardo are already on the 15-day disabled list.
"It's a little better than what Charlie said," Durbin said. "That scared me. He was just in the dramatic mood because of the home run," referring to Jimmy Rollins' game-winning home run in the ninth inning.
Dobbs accepts Triple-A assignment
PHILADELPHIA -- Greg Dobbs cleared waivers Wednesday and has accepted his assignment to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
The plan for Dobbs is simple: play every day, get into a groove, and eventually rejoin the Phillies as a potent bench player. Dobbs hit just .152 (10-for-66) with one home run and six RBIs this season, and just 1-for-25 with two RBIs as a pinch-hitter. Dobbs was the best pinch-hitter in baseball from 2007-08, when he played fairly regularly at third base. He led baseball with 18 pinch-hit RBIs in '07, and led baseball with 22 pinch-hits in '08.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said regular at-bats should help Dobbs, who will report Friday to Lehigh Valley.
It is no coincidence that when Dobbs enjoyed success as a pinch-hitter he also played more. He had 358 plate appearances in '07, when he shared time at third base with Wes Helms and Abraham Nunez. He had 240 plate appearances in '08, when he shared time with Pedro Feliz.
Dobbs had just 169 plate appearances last season as Feliz played almost every day at third base.
Dobbs was on pace for just 149 plate appearances this season before the Phillies designated him for assignment Tuesday. Had Dobbs refused the assignment, he would have forfeited roughly $560,000 remaining on his contract to become a free agent.
Manuel said in Spring Training that he planned to play his bench players more, but it has not happened. Manuel made no apologies.
"The object is to win," he said. "Sometimes we forget about the priority. The No. 1 priority when we show up to the ballpark is to win the game. People say, 'Rest this guy. The season is 162 games.' At the same time if you get in a race and you're close and you're a game or two apart, you want to put the best team possible on the field. When you have a lineup like we have ... there's a drop off. When you put two or three of those guys coming off the bench into the game then it's a big, huge drop off. Sometimes you might get some production out of them, but if you do it's lucky. You're very lucky. To get them playing time, it can be hard sometimes."
Ibanez shows improvements at plate
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies left fielder Raul Ibanez hit .311 (14-for-45) with two homers and eight RBIs in his previous 13 games.
Is it a sign he is turning things around?
"He's been swinging better," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I think he's going to do better, too."
Ibanez said recently has made some mechanical adjustments to get him on track.
"I've been watching him and I think he makes mechanical adjustments about every day," Manuel said smiling. "Like I said about Sandy Alomar Jr., he's a man of a million stances."
Happ makes fourth rehab start at Double-A
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies left-hander J.A. Happ, who has been on the disabled list since April with a strained left forearm, made a rehab start on Wednesday with Double-A Reading.
Happ allowed seven hits, three runs and one home run -- a three-run shot in the fourth inning -- and struck out four in five innings in his fourth rehab start.
Madson scheduled for rehab in Clearwater
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies right-hander Ryan Madson, who has been on the disabled list since May with a broken right big toe, will make his first rehab appearance on Sunday with Class A Clearwater.
Madson will throw a bullpen session on Thursday at Citizens Bank Park before he leaves for Clearwater. Madson said on Tuesday he is hopeful to rejoin the bullpen before the All-Star break.
Manuel wants Lidge in regular role
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel got testy Tuesday when pressed why he started the ninth inning with left-hander J.C. Romero over closer Brad Lidge.
Manuel said he based it on matchups, but played coy Wednesday when asked if his opinion had changed.
"I'll have to wait and see," he said. "Lidge was good [Tuesday] with his command. I want to be able to turn Lidge loose and be the closer -- consistently be our closer. Have him work three or four nights, give him a day off. Get it organized so we can use our bullpen the way we normally would. I think he's getting close."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.