Chase Utley's first game of the 2012 season came on June 27, 2012.
By the time Howard returned to live action this year, the Phillies were 37-47 and buried in the National League East basement, 13 games behind the Washington Nationals.
Today, the Phillies are five games better from a win-loss standpoint. Considering that they have played the last two months without Hunter Pence or Shane Victorino, this improvement is encouraging.
And it proves how critical it is to the Phillies for Utley and Howard to stay in the lineup.
How can they maximize these assets in 2013? Here are some ideas.