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Phillies cautious with Utley's concussion

MILWAUKEE — There are certain conveniences provided by a 10-game lead in the NL East, the Phillies' advantage over the Braves after Thursday's games.

So caution, and perhaps an abundance of it, will prevail. That is why 2B Chase Utley stayed in Philadelphia to see a concussion specialist Thursday. He will remain there likely through the weekend, and his return to the lineup is unknown. The second baseman was plunked on the back of the helmet by a pitch against the Braves on Wednesday. MLB's concussion protocol dictates two days of rest.

An IMPACT test, used to determine the severity of concussion symptoms, will be conducted, and the Phillies will await those results. The test will compare readings from a baseline exam Utley took earlier this season.

With Utley down, the Phillies activated SS Jimmy Rollins from the disabled list even though they know he's not yet ready to rejoin the lineup. They can do that because of expanded rosters, and they will ease Rollins (strained groin) back slowly, likely in a pinch-hitting role. There is no timetable for his full return.

Astros buyer irked: Jim Crane is becoming impatient at how long it's taking MLB to approve his purchase of the Astros. He told the Houston Chronicle that his contract with current Astros owner Drayton McLane on a $680 million deal has a deadline of Nov. 30. Crane believes the approval may be being held up to pressure him into agreeing to move the Astros from the NL to the AL. He said he would consider such a move, but that it's a complicated decision.

$1.2B bid for Dodgers a stunt? Ryan Kirkpatrick, an attorney for Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, dismissed a $1.2 billion bid for the team as a "publicity stunt," according to documents filed this week in Los Angeles Superior Court. McCourt remains steadfast in his intention not to sell the Dodgers, the Los Angeles Times reported. McCourt received the offer Aug. 30, from a group headed by Los Angeles Marathon founder Bill Burke and funded in large part by financial institutions owned by the Chinese government. Frank McCourt has not responded publicly to the Burke bid.

Game 2 washout: The second game of Thursday's Dodgers-Nationals doubleheader was postponed because of rain. The game will be replayed only if needed to decide a playoff race at the end of the season. The Dodgers won the first game 7-4.

Drug suspensions: Three minor-leaguers were suspended for 50 games each after failing drug tests. Philadelphia OF Zachary Collier (Class A Lakewood) tested positive for an amphetamine. RHP Alejandro Montas and C Gustavo Parra both tested positive for stanozolol and will begin their 50-game bans upon signing with a major-league organization.

Brewers: 2B Rickie Weeks (left ankle sprain) was activated from the DL, but manager Ron Roenicke plans to limit Weeks to pinch-hitting.

Dodgers: OF Andre Ethier (right knee), whose 30-game hitting streak was the second longest in team history, was shut down for the season. "I'm just trying to figure this whole thing out right now and figure out a way to get it better where it won't affect me for spring training," he said.

Giants: OF Aaron Rowand and INF Miguel Tejada, both designated for assignment last week, were put on waivers for the purpose of their unconditional release. Rowand's 2011 salary is $12 million and he was due the same salary in 2012. Tejada, 37, had a one-year, $6.5 million deal.

Mets: RHP Jason Isringhausen will be sidelined for several days because he has a herniated disk in his lower back. Isringhausen, 39, said there is numbness in one foot and he will likely get a shot to his nerve.

Nationals: Manager Davey Johnson said he was resting 2B Danny Espinosa, who this week set a team record with seven straight strikeouts, because he was mentally tired. … C Ivan Rodriguez, who was on the DL for nearly two months with an oblique strain, will be limited to pinch-hitting for the rest of the year.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Phillies cautious with Utley's concussion 09/09/11 [Last modified: Friday, September 9, 2011 1:25am]

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