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News » Philadelphia Phillies Notes, Quotes 2008-11-29

Philadelphia Phillies Notes, Quotes 2008-11-29

Philadelphia Phillies Notes, Quotes 2008-11-29
--2B Chase Utley underwent surgery Nov. 24 on his right hip. The procedure, performed by Dr. Bryan Kelly at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, involved an arthroscopic debridement of the labrum and a bony lesion, and the Phillies' medical and training staffs didn't alter their estimate of a four- to six-month recovery, casting doubt about Utley's status for the April 5 season opener at Citizens Bank Park. But if Utley isn't ready for Opening Day, it's possible he could be by mid-April.

--3B Pedro Feliz underwent surgery on his lower back Nov. 20 and is expected to need eight to 12 weeks to recover. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. expects Feliz to be ready for spring training. The Phillies said Feliz underwent a lumbar discectomy on the L4-5 disk. Dr. Robert Watkins performed the procedure in Los Angeles, and Feliz has returned to Northern California for his rehabilitation. "He should be 100 percent and not have any issues with range of motion," Amaro said. "We don't see any degenerative issues with his back."

--OF Matt Stairs, whose decisive two-run home run in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers made him an overnight legend in Philadelphia, has returned to his first love. He's coaching high school hockey.

Stairs, a 40-year-old native of Canada, is an assistant coach at John Bapst High in Bangor, Maine. He was acquired by the Phillies in a late-August trade with the Toronto Blue Jays.

"I don't think it really sinks in until the first day of spring training when you see all your buddies again and you get those rings," Stairs told the Bangor Daily News. "It's nice knowing you're the World Series champions for 2008, and everyone is going out there to knock you off the throne. They were hungry for a championship. I came at a good time. We won something like 25 of our last 31 games, whatever it was. When you went to the ballpark, there was electricity. They were waving those white towels.

"If you don't play well, they'll be tough on you. It's one of those things. But we played well at the right time. We never lost a game at home in the playoffs. Even if you're tired, when you get in that batter's box, you felt a surge of energy."

--RHP Ryan Madson will be eligible for salary arbitration in February, but the Phillies may discuss a long-term contract with the setup reliever. Madson played a vital role for the Phillies during their run to the World Series championship. Madson posted a 0.63 ERA in his final 14 regular-season appearances and went 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA in the postseason. He formed a reliable bridge to closer Brad Lidge, who went 41-for-41 in save opportunities during the regular season and 7-for-7 in the playoffs.

Madson is represented by aggressive agent Scott Boras, who rarely steers his clients toward long-term contracts before they reach free agency and test the market. Madson can be a free agent after the 2009 season.

"We have talked a little bit," Madson said last week at the Philadelphia premiere of the World Series DVD. "No numbers. Just, 'Hey, we're interested in signing you, something longer than a one-year deal.' I'm all ears. I love the city. My wife loves the city. We want to. It just has to be the right deal for me because just around the corner is free agency, and that's what every player wants to get to."

--RHP Mike Koplove was among four players the Phillies recently signed to minor league contracts. Koplove, INF Andy Tracy, 3B Mike Cervenak and C John Suomi agreed to 2009 contracts and likely will be assigned to Class AAA Lehigh Valley. Tracy and Cervenak had strong 2008 seasons for Lehigh Valley, while Suomi split the season between Lehigh Valley and Class AA Reading. Koplove, 32, spent last season in the Los Angeles Dodgers' farm system, going 2-1 with a 3.46 ERA for Class AAA Las Vegas. He also was a member of the bronze-medal-winning U.S. Olympic team in Beijing.

BY THE NUMBERS: 16 -- Victories last season for LHP Jamie Moyer, who turned 46 on Nov. 20. Moyer became the oldest pitcher to win that many games since 46-year-old Phil Niekro won 16 games in 1985.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Even though it is a major surgery, there were no surprises. So, we feel pretty comfortable that Chase will be back for the bulk of the season." -- GM Ruben Amaro Jr., on the timetable for 2B Chase Utley's return after the All-Star's hip surgery on Nov. 24.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: November 29, 2008

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