Phillies set to activate Utley from disabled list

Danks, Hinojosa optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Thursday

Phillies set to activate Utley from disabled list

PHILADELPHIA -- Chase Utley is back.

The Phillies announced Thursday afternoon that Utley will be activated from the 15-day disabled list before Friday night's game against the Padres at Petco Park. He had been sidelined since June 23 with a sprained right ankle.

Following Thursday's 10-8 loss to the Dodgers, the Phillies optioned outfielder Jordan Danks to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make room for Utley on the 25-man roster. The Phillies also optioned right-hander Dalier Hinojosa. They will select left-hander Adam Loewen's contract Friday to take his place.

"I'm going to do as much as I can to try to get [Utley] in there four days a week," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said.

Cesar Hernandez has hit .323 (53-for-164) with nine doubles, two triples, 15 RBIs and a .783 OPS in 40 games since June 17, but he could see some time at third base or shortstop while Utley plays. Mackanin also said Freddy Galvis could play a game or two at center field to accommodate Hernandez at shortstop.

Mackanin has his reasons for that. First, Utley is Utley. He is the greatest second baseman in Phillies history, and the manager respects that. Second, there are a few contenders that are interested in Utley for the final few weeks of the season, including the Angels and Cubs. The Phillies need to play Utley if they hope to trade him before the Aug. 31 waiver Trade Deadline.

"It isn't easy," Mackanin said. "But I've already had a meeting with Cesar, Freddy and [Maikel] Franco. And even with Whitey [Andres Blanco]. They're all aware of the situation and the need to get Chase at-bats."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.