Dodgers plan to activate Chase Utley to face New York Mets on Friday
The Dodgers will delay the activation of Chase Utley from the disabled list until Friday, meaning Utley will return to action in a ballpark where he is despised: Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.
Utley earned the antipathy of Mets fans during a storied career with the Phillies. The aversion grew exponentially after Utley fractured the leg of shortstop Ruben Tejada with a takeout slide during the 2015 playoffs. Utley received resounding jeers when he returned to New York in 2016; during an eventful series, he was thrown at by Mets ace Noah Syndergaard and hit two homers in the same game.
“The last performance that Chase had in New York was pretty special,” manager Dave Roberts said before Wednesday’s series finale against the Cubs. “You have to give the people what they want.”
Utley has not played in June. He landed on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb after a miserable May. Utley posted a .381 on-base plus slugging percentage during the month.
The Dodgers had planned to recall Utley either Tuesday or Wednesday. After playing a doubleheader Tuesday, and with a left-handed pitcher starting for the Cubs on Wednesday, the team preferred flexibility with its bullpen.
“He’s healthy and ready to go with us,” Roberts said. “But having some option-able players on the roster makes a lot of sense for us.”
NO UPDATE ON URIAS
“It’s just too far away for me to keep track of,” Roberts said.
Roberts had said earlier this season he hoped Urias could be ready to pitch in games by the end of July.
The Dodgers will give rookie left-handed pitcher Caleb Ferguson a fourth start. Ferguson will pitch against the Mets this weekend. He has given up 10 runs in 10 2/3 innings. “We’re giving Caleb a nice little runaway,” Roberts said. “We’ll see how he responds in that environment.” ... The team optioned Brock Stewart back to triple-A Oklahoma City. Stewart served as the 26th man in Tuesday’s doubleheader. He faced three batters in the nightcap and gave up the game-winning hit to Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr.
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