WASHINGTON -- The bad news is that the Phillies have lost their most consistent hitter until June 5, at the earliest.
The good news is it could have been worse.
The Phillies placed Chase Utley on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a Grade 1 strained right oblique. He is eligible to be activated June 5. Every indication is that there is a good chance Utley will be back by that date.
"I guess, under the circumstances, this is the best-case scenario to have," Utley said before Friday's series opener against the Nationals at Nationals Park. "Obviously I'd like to be back in 15 days. But I don't think it's smart to come back if it's not ready. We really won't know for another week or so, how it's recovering."
Utley, who said he already has seen an improvement in how he feels, isn't sure if he will need a rehab assignment before he is activated. He will remain with the team until that decision is made.
"I plan on staying with the guys," he said.
Martinez's versatility key to callup
WASHINGTON -- Before Friday, Michael Martinez had hit .188 in 354 plate appearances over two seasons with the Phillies.
He hit .239 in 121 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
But Martinez took Chase Utley's spot on the 25-man roster when the Phillies placed Utley on the disabled list Thursday because of a strained right oblique. They placed Roy Halladay on the 60-day disabled list to get Martinez on the 40-man roster.
Utley is eligible to be activated June 5, so Martinez is unlikely to be around long. But why Martinez and not somebody like Darin Ruf, who could provide a little help offensively? Or somebody like Triple-A infielders Pete Orr or Cesar Hernandez?
"We could always use somebody to run," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "If we take Delmon [Young] out of the game, we might want to keep [John] Mayberry back to hit. Things like that. Michael is a switch-hitter. He can play a lot of positions. Hopefully we won't have to run Cliff [Lee] no more."
Ruf is hitting .262 with 13 doubles, five home runs and 23 RBIs with Lehigh Valley, but he had just three hits in his last 29 at-bats and jammed a thumb Thursday, keeping him out of the lineup Friday. But Ruf also only plays left field and first base, which means there would be little opportunity for him to play. He is unlikely to take away starts from left fielder Domonic Brown or first baseman Ryan Howard. The Phillies play two Interleague games Monday and Tuesday in Boston, but bringing Ruf up for essentially two games didn't make sense to them.
"I think the better fit was someone who could play all over the field," assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. "We've got two [Interleague] games. It would be hard to find [Ruf] a place to play [otherwise], and it probably wouldn't be the right fit. At this particular point in time, Michael would step into what Freddy [Galvis'] role is and play all over the field. He can play some center field if he had to. He's been here before. That seemed to make some more sense than something like that. It was more Michael's versatility and just the really short window of Interleague Play."
Proefrock said Martinez's versatility probably helped him over Orr. Hernadnez, who is hitting .312, is primarily a second baseman.
"Freddy is going to play ahead of him, so it didn't make a lot of sense to bring him up," Proefrock said of Hernandez. "He's not as versatile as Michael. He's pretty much limited at second base right now, at least from playing on any kind of regular basis."
Adams expected to join Phils on Sunday
WASHINGTON -- Phillies setup man Mike Adams will rejoin the team's bullpen a little earlier than expected.
Adams threw a bullpen session Friday in Clearwater, Fla., and the Phillies said he will be activated Sunday in time for their series finale against the Nationals. Adams has been on the disabled list since May 11 with a strained back.
"While he was a little rusty after not having thrown in several days, he physically felt fine," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement.
Adams had been scheduled to make a rehab appearance Monday with Class A Clearwater, but apparently the Phillies believe there is no need.
The Phillies will make a corresponding roster move before Sunday's game.
Stutes ready to help Phillies' relief effort
WASHINGTON -- Mike Stutes offered the Phillies' bullpen some reliability as a rookie in 2011.
They hope he can provide more of the same this season.
The Phillies on Friday recalled Stutes, who replaced Phillippe Aumont in the bullpen. Stutes went 6-2 with a 3.63 ERA in 57 appearances as a rookie, bailing out a bullpen that lost Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson and Jose Contreras to injuries. But Stutes then suffered a shoulder injury last season, which required surgery. After a rough spring when he battled his command, he went 1-2 with a 3.33 ERA in 20 appearances for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
He allowed just one run in his last 15 1/3 innings with Lehigh Valley before joining the Phillies.
"I feel like I've gotten quite a few innings down there and I've been throwing pretty consistently, so I feel like I'm all the way back, health-wise," Stutes said. "They obviously wanted to see me get more innings and throw on a consistent basis, since I missed all of last year. I feel like I went down there and proved that, over the first six, seven weeks of the season, or whatever it was."
Stutes said he feels a big difference from the beginning of Spring Training, when he was facing hitters for the first time in nearly a year, to his last appearance with Lehigh Valley.
"As a competitor, I'm never going to say, 'Oh yeah, I don't know where it's going,' or something like that," he said. "Not that I didn't know where it was going, but I was pretty rusty. I hadn't thrown to hitters in a while. The game speed kind of caught up to me a bit. Now I'm feeling very comfortable out there, and I feel a lot more in control than I did before."
Aumont went 1-3 with a 4.15 ERA in 16 games for the Phillies this season.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.