NEW YORK (AP) Slumping second baseman Chase Utley was put on the 15-day disabled list by the Philadelphia Phillies with inflammation in his right ankle.
The team announced the move after Utley sat out Tuesday night's 11-6 victory over the New York Yankees. Phillies trainer Scott Sheridan said Utley's ankle has been bothering him since January and the six-time All-Star was to receive a cortisone shot Wednesday.
''I've had some good days. More bad days than good days but I felt like I could play through it. I was able to obviously get on the field. I don't think it's been beneficial for me to play on it,'' Utley said.
''Like Scott said, it's really showing no improvement. It's a good time to get it right,'' he added. ''Take a little time off. Hopefully that gets it all squared away.''
Utley has been on the bench for three of the past five games. His .179 batting average is last among the 164 qualifying major leaguers, and he has four homers and 25 RBIs
''In my communication with Chase throughout the season about playing, he's always been up and willing to go and no really reports of anything holding him back, so I was a little bit surprised by it in some regards,'' manager Ryne Sandberg said. ''The way that he's moved around and run the bases, and run hard and played defense, I don't think it was holding him back all that much in my opinion. To have it bother him now, and as he said it's kind of crept up on him to the point of getting it re-checked and re-evaluated, so that's what he feels.''
Utley has 249 plate appearances in the Phillies' first 73 games and his contract includes a provision guaranteeing a $15 million salary for next season if he has 500 plate appearances this year and is not injured or on the disabled list at the end of the season.
Cesar Hernandez has done a nice job filling in at second for the last-place Phillies recently, with five hits, five runs and three RBIs in the first two games of their series at Yankee Stadium. Philadelphia recalled first baseman-outfielder Darin Ruf from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
The 36-year-old Utley batted .099 through his first 26 games this season and then hit .342 in his next 22. But he is 5 for 54 (.093) in his last 17 games.
''Right around the beginning of May he started having some symptoms. We did a repeat MRI around May 16 and it showed he still had some inflammation in his ankle,'' Sheridan said. ''He's got some edema in there that was present on the bone itself. For the most part the ligaments on the outside of the ankle are healing pretty well. Still, the one ligament on the inside has some healing to still go and he's having some symptoms that we want to take care of - so place him on the DL right now and try to get him healthy.''