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Archive for the ‘Chase Utley’ Category

San Diego Padres v Philadelphia Phillies

Chase Utley is a terrific ballplayer. A very, very good second baseman who consistently posts terrific numbers across the board. Chase Utley is turns 35 this year and has not played 120 games since 2009 – the last time the Phillies played in the World Series (where Chase Utley single-handedly kept them in the series against the Yankees, when he hit five home runs and walked four times in six games)

Despite playing little more than half his team’s games over the last four seasons, Chase Utley is still yet to post a season below 3 WAR. Because Chase Utley is a very good, you see. Due to hit free agency after this season, Chase Utley remains a member of the Phillies for two more years at least, thanks to the two-year contract extension the Phils second baseman inked last night.

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Philadelphia Phillies v San Francisco Giants

Chase Utley, in the teeniest of sample sizes, has typically handled Barry Zito fairly well in past meetings. The left-handed hitting Phillies second baseman is 7-for-20 vs. the Giants lefty with a .350/.350/.700 triple slash line since the two first became acquainted in 2005. Prior to yesterday afternoon, Utley had stuck out versus Zito just once before, in 2007.

Utley hasn’t fared as well versus left-handers over the last few seasons as he did earlier in his career, but he’s still matched up well versus Zito with three hits (including a triple and home run) in his last six plate appearances. Zito turned the tables on Utley on Wednesday afternoon, holding him hitless in three at-bats.

While it’s not overly remarkable that Zito sat down Utley on four pitches in the seventh inning yesterday, it warrants an examination based on the pitch selection and sheer goofiness of the hurler’s stuff.

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San Diego Padres v Philadelphia Phillies

The list of baseball things Chase Utley does well is long. He’s a very good baseball player, you see. As a good baseball player, Chase Utley does this important things well: he hits for power and is unfailingly patient and plays good defense. It’s a nice combination, the combination which led him to one of the better peaks in recent memory.

Now 34-years old, Chase Utley is on the downside of his career. As a second baseman, injuries are taking their toll and the ageing process begins rather early. Utley hasn’t played 120 games in a season since 2009, the last time the Phillies played in the World Series.

For the first time in two years, Chase Utley is healthy to start the season. As one expects from Chase Utley, he’s playing well. He’s also doing other Chase Utley things. While he hasn’t been hit by a pitch yet this year (his calling card), he did swipe two bases in a win over the Mets on Tuesday night. Unsurprisingly, he wasn’t thrown out. Stealing bases is one of the many things Chase Utley does very, very well.

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