Utley goes on DL with ankle injury

Utley is batting .179 with four home runs and 25 RBI this season. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies placed second baseman Chase Utley on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday with ankle inflammation.

There had been no word of the injury prior to the move, but the timing could prove to be fortuitous, as manager Ryne Sandberg said recently he would like to find a way to get backup second baseman Caesar Hernandez more playing time.

“It’s a challenge,” Sandberg told Philly.com on Monday. “It’s a daily challenge. You know, from this point it’s watching the games and making judgment son who should be out there, it becomes a tough thing, but also a challenging thing. Probably would fall under the category of what’s best for both players. For Chase to play well and to show what he can do, and to play well is important. And to see Cesar play, he can get experience, that’s important. There’s two sides of it that are important going forward, and that’s the challenge.”

Utley, 36, is mired in a season-long slump, as he has an OPS of just .532 through 65 games.