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Phillies sign Luis Castillo


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CLEARWATER, Fla. -- With second baseman Chase Utley not ready to open the season, the Philadelphia Phillies have signed former New York Mets second baseman Luis Castillo.

Utley has been sidelined all spring with knee problems.

Castillo, deemed an underachiever in New York, was released by the Mets despite $6 million remaining on his contract. The Mets will still be on the hook for most of that.

The Phillie signed Castillo, 35, to a minor-league deal. He was hitting .286 with two RBI in 11 games for the Mets this spring.

Castillo batted .235 with no homers and 17 RBI in 247 at-bats last season before losing his starting spot to Ruben Tejada and Luis Hernandez.

The Phillies have other second base options in camp including Wilson Valdez, Pete Orr, Josh Barfield and Rule 5 selection Michael Martinez.

Utley has been taking batting practice but has been unable to participate fully in fielding drills as a result of tendinitis in his right knee

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"Knee issues caused the Phillies' star second baseman to miss 47 games last season. This injury is likely to cause Utley to miss several weeks of the season in the most optimistic of estimations."

I was not even aware of this until today. I have neglected ST and am anxiously awaiting the regular season this year.

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