Big League Stew - MLB

When it first started, today seemed like it was going to be better than yesterday for the Philadelphia Phillies and their fans.

On the morning after Roy Halladay(notes) was defeated by young Jay Bruce(notes), there was talk of a trade for Dan Haren(notes) and the (relatively) big announcement of a partnership between two of our favorite Phillies blogs. 

But then the day went south with Charlie Manuel receiving a one-game suspension for apparently bumping C.B. Bucknor during Tuesday's game.

And, oh, the revelation that Chase Utley(notes) needs surgery on his injured thumb and will be out until at least August didn't help the mood much, either. 

Actually, the Utley injury news might as well have punched, stomped and dumped melted wiz all over the head of every Phillies fan who had started to accept that they could live with Wilson Valdez(notes) and Greg Dobbs(notes) in their infield until Placido Polanco(notes) and Utley returned from short DL stays.

But subtracting Utley for 5-6 weeks from an offense that was already struggling qualifies as doomsday news in south Philly — unless GM Ruben Amaro can figure out better options.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports points out that Polanco could be shifted to second upon his return and Amaro could make a play for Ty Wigginton(notes), Miguel Tejada(notes) or Jose Lopez(notes).

And here's a situation I just dreamed up: If the Phils are intent on getting Dan Haren and the D'Backs are intent on getting a top prospect like Domonic Brown(notes) in return, perhaps includig Kelly Johnson(notes) in the deal would be the key to making it work.

I'm not suggesting that's what I'd do — especially after seeing Alex Remington's Slumpbot breakdown of Johnson's second-half struggles, yeesh  — but you can understand why it's a glum day in Philly just by considering the mere fact we're cooking up such scenarios.

Considering they're 3.5 games behind the Braves and consistently struggling with injuries, there's just no way to spin this in a positive fashion for the Fightins'.

How much trouble are the Phillies in? What would you do to soften the blow of losing Utley?

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