Phillies-Brewers Preview

Cole Hamels is gone and Chase Utley is about to follow.

With trade rumors swirling, Utley could be making his final appearance for the Philadelphia Phillies as they face the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night.

The major league-worst Phillies (46-70) are looking to the future and have already sent Hamels to Texas prior to last month's trade deadline.

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Utley's impending exit is coming despite a career-low .208 average. The six-time All-Star, who has spent his entire 13-year career with Philadelphia, cleared waivers and is being pursued by San Francisco, the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Angels, according to MLB's official website.

He's 11 for 22 with four doubles and as many RBIs in the last six games.

"He looks as good as I've seen him," interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "He's showing his bat speed. The bat speed is there."

It surely was Friday when Utley had a season-high four hits with a double and one RBI, but Philadelphia opened this three-game series with a 3-1 loss.

The last-place Brewers (49-68) are also looking toward 2016 and Jimmy Nelson (9-9, 3.65 ERA) could very well play a big role in that season.

The right-hander is 6-1 with a 2.26 ERA in his last nine starts, including 3-0 with a 2.06 ERA in five at home.

Nelson allowed one run over the first six innings Sunday against St. Louis but surrendered Matt Carpenter's three-run homer in the seventh and left without a decision in a 5-4 win.

"It's a process," pitching coach Rick Kranitz told MLB's official website. "When you're going to the next level, (Nelson) has to do that. He's that guy for us. He's going to be the guy we probably lean on to be able to pitch big games."

Nelson was credited with a 7-4 win in his only appearance against Philadelphia on June 29, allowing four runs and six hits in five innings.

The Phillies would like to see Jerome Williams (4-8. 5.73) continue his improved pitching. He's allowed two runs over 12 innings in his last two starts after going 0-4 with an 8.44 ERA in his previous six.

The right-hander limited San Diego to one run and five hits over a season-best seven innings Sunday in a 5-3 victory.

"I just kept the ball down in the zone," Williams said. "If I consciously keep the ball down I get my ground balls. Then if I do throw one up in the zone I have them so conscious of looking down they miss the pitch."

Williams is 2-2 with a 5.40 ERA in five starts against the Brewers, the first coming in 2004.

Philadelphia's Cody Asche is hitting .370 with one homer and five doubles in his last seven games after going 2 for 12 over his previous six. He's a .341 hitter in 12 meetings with the Brewers, including 7 for 20 in five at Miller Park.

The Brewers have won all five meetings this year against the Phillies, batting .333 and averaging 6.2 runs. Ryan Braun is hitting .409 with 14 RBIs in 10 games versus Philadelphia since the start of last season even after Friday's 0-for-3 performance.