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2010 Year in Review: Chase Utley

Posted by Paul Boye, Thu, October 28, 2010 01:33 PM | Comments: 45
2010 Player Reviews, Analysis, Commentary, Posts

Getting eliminated from the playoffs sucks.

In the moments immediately following elimination, it’s hard to stave off feelings of bitterness, anger and disappointment. It’s hard not to run with the overwhelmingly negative emotion and rail against the closest thing. For some, that opportunity arose when Ryan Howard stared at strike three. For others, their ire was directed toward Chase Utley and his disappointing postseason. Hey, everyone copes in his or her own way, but it’s important to maintain some perspective (especially when it comes to a franchise cornerstone).

Chase Utley played in 115 games, in large part because of a thumb injury that required surgery, and, as a result, recorded some stats that were not what we’ve become accustomed to seeing. All of these stats were Chase’s fewest since 2004, when he played in just 94 games:

  • 117 hits
  • 20 doubles
  • 2 triples
  • 16 home runs
  • .275 batting average
  • .445 slugging percentage
  • 124 OPS+
  • 3.5 oWAR

So the guy is human after all, huh? No one will argue that Chase had one of his typical years, just as I’m sure few will argue that injuries and fatigue probably had their fair share of effect.

What is most certainly arguable is the notion of trading Utley. One “subpar” season – or, microscopically, one bad postseason in which Chase hit just .182/.333/.227 in 27 PA – after a run of historically good ones is no cause to call for Utley’s head.

I won’t derail this post into a defense of Utley against the trading hordes, so instead I’ll just say this: in the land of arbitrary stat endpoints, Chase Utley has had six seasons with .275/.375/.445 or better, with a 120 OPS+ or higher to boot. Only Charlie Gehringer (11), Rogers Hornsby (10) and Eddie Collins (8) have ever had more seasons meeting those criteria as a second baseman than Utley (Utley registered his sixth such season of those numbers in 2010, too, for what it’s worth), and all three of those gentlemen are Hall of Famers.

Utley didn’t have a great season, be that because of injury, fatigue, aging, slight skill decline or demonic possession, but he’s signed to an affordable deal for a player of his caliber, and he’s a face of the franchise. We can be disappointed in 2010, but we can be assured of Utley’s dedication to returning to top form in 2011.

PAUL’S GRADE: 7.3/10

PAT GALLEN: 7.2/10 – Yes, the injury injured his chance at a productive season, however the writing was already on the wall for a down year before his thumb gave out. His not-so-good playoffs didn’t help, either.

NICK STASKIN: 7.1/10 – A down year for Utley, is almost an up year for any other second baseman in baseball. If you compare this season to almost any other second baseman in MLB, it still measures up…just not to the production we are used to.

Tomorrow: Placido Polanco

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About Paul Boye

Paul Boye has written 58 articles on Phillies Nation.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    Utley is a gamer, a great player who had a tough year. I hope he gets plenty of rest this off-season. We need him back. We also need to rest him once in a while against tough lefties so he does not get hit so much. We need a solid utility infielder who can play third and second base to relieve both Polanco and Utley and we may want to consider Jose Lopez for such a role. We need to keep both Utley and Polanco, as well as Rollins, sharp and that means occasional rest.

     
  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    I respect and appreciate Charlie Manuel. I do think he needs to realize that with an aging team of stars, that they do need rest and he does need to use a bench intelligently. He is not good at that. Bench players get stale and lose their edge. I believe that is the case with Greg Dobbs, who became very stale and ineffective.

     
  • Posts: 0 Kate

    And Golden Boy skates again.

    Where’s that perspective when it comes to Ryan Howard? Nowhere to be found.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ryan H.

    how the hell can you guys give chase utley above a 7 for this year? you gotta be smokin something wacky. He’s maybe my favorite baseball player of all time but I’d have an awful hard time giving him anything higher than a 4 (tops) for this year. probably give him a 3

     
  • Posts: 0 Barb

    Both of the above comments make very valid and solid points. No need to say more.

     
  • Posts: 0 Paul Boye

    A) Ryan Howard got a higher grade than the “Golden Boy” and B) I give my reasons in the article. I graded him partially in relation to his previous years and partially in relation to how good he was in relation to other 2B where, even though this was a down year, he still excelled.

    And his defense was still excellent. What you saw in the playoffs was an aberration. Giving Utley a grade like a 3 or a 4 for a season like this is lunacy, sorry guys and gals.

     
  • Posts: 0 Paul Boye

    Had he played a full season (and he didn’t because of circumstances that were basically out of his control; he can’t be blamed for a baseball injury like that) his numbers would’ve been worthy of a grade closer to a 9 for sure. He gets points off for a subpar postseason, even though that’s only 9 games, and because you can’t give that high a grade for a partial season, even if the injury isn’t the player’s fault.

    Utley was still top 5 or 6 among all ML second basemen in a number of stats DESPITE having this down year. We’re coming up on being a week removed from losing the series, so I’m struggling to see why there’s still this bitter ire clouding vision.

     
  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    I find the notion that Utley is some untouchable Teflon Don when it comes to criticism to be really bizarre, and the amount of anger that people manage to muster over it even more bizarre. I don’t know if it’s holdover craziness from the Howard contract debate, but nobody has been afraid to say that Chase has had a down year. The thing is, a “down year” for Chase is .275/.387/.445 — you people do realize how valuable a line that is from a second baseman, right? We quite rightfully expect more from Chase, but to rate that kind of production from a 2B a 3 or 4 is just insane.

    And Kate, since you were so angry that someone would dare to even criticize Wilson Valdez, I’ll just offer up his .258/.306/.360 line up for comparison without comment.

     
  • Posts: 0 Kate

    In September, Utley started taking his sweet time getting the balls over to first. What used to be routine plays and outs started getting just a little more interesting WELL before the playoffs started.

    @Paul: Yeah, Howard got a whole whopping .1 better than Utley did. He deserves better, because batting averages are down around the entire league and that’s the basis of everyone’s ire toward him, his offense. At least Howard stayed with it on defense and did everything he could to catch balls when Utley looked like he could care less where those balls went.

    I mean, I wouldn’t give Utley below a six, probably, but he deserves to be at least half a point lower than Ryan Howard.

     
  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    Ah, the always reliable evidence of “didn’t look like he cared.” Top-notch analysis. I mean sure Utley plays better defense than Howard at a much more difficult position but hey, if you say he doesn’t care, well, I’m convinced.

     
  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    By the way, since Howard always gets bonus clutch points for hitting in September (“When it counts!!”) are we going to grant Utley the same courtesy for hitting .306/.420/.491 in Sept/Oct of the regular season?

     
  • Posts: 0 Greg

    Kate, first base is the easiest position to play. In comparison, second base is the 6th hardest out of 9 spots. Utley’s defense was still damn good, and was far better than Howard’s. Utley had an almost .390 (.387 to be exact) OBP, despite being a down year. Howard’s: .353 OBP.

    Let’s check out some other second baseman in the NL East’s OBP:

    Dan Uggla: .369 (And he had a good year)
    Martin Prado: A guy who batted .307, had just a .350 OBP.
    Luis Castillo: LOL .235 OBP.
    I suppose I’ll put Christian Guzman here for the Nats: .327 OBP.

    Now, I know OBP doesn’t mean everything, but just because his power numbers were down, it’s not like Utley was slouching or not trying to win ball games. I believe he had the third highest OBP of the team, behind Ruiz (.400 OBP) and Werth (.388 OBP), don’t quote me on that, though.

    Utley was still getting on base, drawing walks, getting hit by pitches, play a fine defense, and still drove in 65 RBI. I’d say a 7 is more than appropriate for a Second baseman putting up those numbers.

     
  • Posts: 0 Phan in the outfield

    Utley’s one of my all-time favorites, always will be. This yr, ouch, I don’t know, a 5.5 or 6 – tops. This Utley-thing causes such a brain-wall in people, an inability to even try to understand the other person.

    Even w/my love of him I know generally he’s rarely criticized by media or fans. Hard to believe anyone would say he’s treated the same as other players. I think he’s aware of it. But b/c he doesn’t invite it, I’ve had a weird feeling that it bothers him. He clearly doesn’t like being separated from ‘the guys’.

    He projects a persona of no-nonsense, less talk – more action, a “man’s man”. Women want it, men want to be it. Combined w/the fact that he’s – by everyone’s admission – an honestly great baseball player; we have someone that probably nobody wants to criticize. I was thinking maybe … between Utley & Werth … we have one whole Clint Eastwood. Maybe that’s why they’re best buds. (Werth’s the side that gets criticized, shrugs, says little. Yep. You’re right. I deserved the boo-s. Beyond that don’t talk about ME. Nothing personal. I don’t have parents. I was hatched from an egg. Thanks. Goodnight.)

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    I have made the arguement here that projecting forward chase Utley could end his career as the best 2b ever. Last year was a serious blow to that. Maybe even making it impossible. It was a VERY down year and anything over a 5 is borderline ridiculous.

    He does still (not including playoffs) play a good defensive 2b and that does mean alot.

    Some of the Howard lovers need to realize he plays the position Adam dunn plays and Dave Kingman played. Cody Ross playing 1b for the phillies next year and hitting 4th drives in 100 runs easy. Alot of Howards stats are built in. Thats why he is over paid.

    IMO Utley a 4 year and Howard probably the same.
    Forget the 0 and 1 gave them last night.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    if 2010 is a 7.3
    what were 2006,2007,2008?

    15 on a scale of 1 to 10?

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/u/utleych01.shtml

     
  • What a truly pathetic column. Utley was a 5 at best this season.

    Not so good playoffs? .182/.333/.227 is a horrible playoffs. And his fielding was atrocious. He had almost an error per game. The Phillies would have a better chance beating the Giants if Wilson Valdez played second. Howard was caught looking to end the game, but it was Utley who cost them the game. Who knows what happens if Chase does not start the hissy fit after getting hit by Sanchez? And then he has a lackluster effort on the ground ball by Sanchez in the 3rd, which was the start of the big inning by the Giants. But yea, Utley had one RBI in the playoffs and Howard had none. Howard only batted 120 points higher. So by far, Utley had the better playoffs.

    “and he didn’t because of circumstances that were basically out of his control; he can’t be blamed for a baseball injury like that”

    Really? Trying to take 2nd on a long single late in the game, when all your team needs is baserunners. And then sliding headfirst was out of his control? If anything, it was totally 100% in his control. Howard spraining his ankle while running to first was a baseball injury you can’t blame the player for.

    “first base is the easiest position to play. In comparison, second base is the 6th hardest out of 9 spots. ” So Howard plays the 9th hardest position and Chase plays the 6th hardest? Yea, that is a huge difference!

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    defenseive positions in order of importance ( so there wont be arguing LOL)

    1. catcher
    2. short stop
    3. second base
    4. center field
    5. third base
    6. right field
    7. first base
    8. left field

     
  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    I hated these numbers in the past and I hate them now. The primary reason is that the numbers have never been defined. Are they supposed to relate to the individuals performance relative to expectations? relative to others (NL or MLB?) at same position, to anyone at any position, to past years’ performance? On top of that what do the numbers mean by themselves? Is 5 average? Is 10 “once in a lifetime”?

    Without any guidance on what the numbers represent, everyone is right and there is no reason to argue. Going with decimal points on an undefined 0-10 is absurd? 7.1 or 7.2? I still don’t know what it means!

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Its nice to see everyone is in a foul mood. I really wasnt going to post for awhile because I didnt wanna be too negative. The writers here are well intentioned. I am cutting them slack. Its not easy doing this after such a disappointment.

    In a way I think its a good thing that we dont accept losing.
    IMO Cubs fans are misguided. They are lovable losers. They come out no matter what. They accept and support losing. Quite posibly thats why they havent won a WS in over 100 years.

     
  • Posts: 0 sjhaack

    I think that it’s a scale of what the best vs what the worst they could perform is. On a scale of 1-10, what I EXPECT from Utley is probably about an 8.5. Maybe even a 9 due to defense.

    For example, I think Ruiz probably had about an 8.5 year. I mean, just stellar. What I expect from him is something in the 6.5-7 range.

    Doc is probably a 9.5. As amazingly as he pitched, I actually feel in a perfect season he could pitch even better.

    A 10 point scale with decimals is the same as a 100 point scale. Who cares if it’s a 7.3 vs a 7.5, except comparing ratings to each other? It gives you a feel for their thinking.

     
  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    I believe that Utley was hurt, that his hand was not fully healed and that his fielding suffered because of it. This team needed Utley to win. I believe that Utley gave it his all. Same is true for Howard. I once had a severely sprained ankle. It took over a year for me to get back to where I was before the sprain. A severe sprain can affect every part of a player’s game. Rollins was banged up, as well and I believe he did his best to get back to form. These are not minor injuries and these three players are the crux of our offense. That is what I believe and I do forgive them. All three players are gamers, and they are human, as well. It is time for healing and time for kindness. We are not in the World Series, but we had one helluva good ride.

     
  • Posts: 0 Kate

    Nothing I’ve said about Utley reflects my feelings for him as a fan. I love Chase Utley. I love all of these guys. I fully believe they’ll all be great next year, maybe even better now that they’ll be playing with a little more fire and intensity after an earlier end than they wanted and thought they should have had this season.

    But let’s be honest. Chase had a great start to the season, but he wasn’t headed for a career year even before he tore up his thumb. We were headed for third place before he went on the DL. Now, it would be simply ridiculous to assign more blame to him than he deserves, but he was part of the offensive slump in the beginning.

    Howard wasn’t having a career year even if he got that time on the DL list back.

    If we’re cutting Utley some slack for a down year, Ryan Howard deserves the same consideration.

     
  • Posts: 0 brooks

    I dont see how anyone of you or us could be objective about rating the players. We’re fans – This is our team, these are our players. We see them year after year, day after day. Especially after the emotional roller coaster that this year provided the great start, the injuries, the abscence of offense, the incredible September, the cake walk vs Cincy and the collapse vs the Giants.

    We don’t set the expectations, the players have given us a template from their past performances. They laid the roadwork. And what Chase has done in the past compared to what he did this year, straight up we have a “D” from the PN.

    Howard a “C”. Very average year.
    And yes, we’re still upset.

     
  • Posts: 0 Kate

    @Morris: I’m not sure I blame Utley for the fact that the Giants were able to get Sanchez out when they wanted to. I think Sanchez knew exactly what he was doing when he instigated. He knew he was choking and he needed to get out of there. He took one for the team and acted like a jackass.

    The only thing Chase is guilty of is playing right into his hands.

     
  • Posts: 0 brooks

    The last comment about Howard getting a “C” grade – for any other player it could be a career year but for Howard, it wasn’t even an average year but still a “C” because he topped 30/100.

    If the offense would have performed to their average up and down the lineup, this team would have won more games, put a clamp on the NL east earlier and most likely would still be playing ball now.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ryan H.

    bart shart: I’m with you 100% on your post. well said. I actually have a very similar thumb injury . However I didn’t get surgery on it. But i can tell you that it must have been very hard for Chase to even grip the bat. I can barely even grip a glass to drink from with my left hand because of the thumb injury. And it was originally hurt back at the end of August for me and it still hurts and hasn’t improved much. It’s a very delicate situation. As for rolled ankles, I am absolutely positive that Ryan Howard was feeling that. he rolled it really bad and those things linger a long long time. J Roll was obviously never healthy either.

    We were all under the false impression that all our guys were coming back just in time for the playoffs. but in reality those three guys, and polanco too, were shells of their healthy selves.

     
  • Posts: 0 Kate

    Oh, I have no doubt that Chase’s thumb hadn’t been the same, no matter how many times he said he was perfectly healthy. Believe me, I give all of our banged-up guys fair quarter. I’m not even sure it’s fair to give Rollins a year in review, because he never had a chance to settle in at any point in the season. Yeah, he was a bit impatient at the plate, but I had to feel for him. He just wanted to get *something* going for himself and contribute to the team.

    I walk and run to stay in shape myself. The shape I’m in is pretty good, but laughable when compared to the kind of shape these guys keep themselves in. I rolled my ankle badly doing backstage work last February and it took me an hour after the original incident to be able to walk without leaning on something or someone. My ankle hasn’t been the same since.

    If Chase is on a curve because of his (admittedly worse) injury, then it’s simply WRONG to not give Howard the benefit of the doubt. Who knows how that ankle might have affected the way he was swinging after he came off the DL?

    How do we know Chase’s thumb wasn’t affecting the way he was holding the back?

    Likewise, how do we know Howard’s ankle wasn’t affecting his stance and his swing? When it comes to swinging the bat, legs and feet are JUST as important as your hands.

    These guys are men; they’re not going to fall back on excuses about gripping and footwork not being a hundred percent. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t happening.

    I might be completely off-base here and, believe me, I have no issues giving brownie points because of the injuries Utley suffered. Utley’s score and the remarks surrounding it are perfectly logical given the circumstances.

    But compare the two pieces. You guys are being way too unfair to Howard.

     
  • Posts: 0 karen

    I just remember Cole Hamels last year and he was getting all the bad energy because of his season……..I have confidence that Chase will be back in 2011. If he is not, then we can go from there……Have faith in Chase.

     
  • Posts: 0 MikeB.

    Chase had an off-year and that thumb injury took it’s toll on him after he came back in the latter part of August. Consider how tender that thumb area must have been when he swung the bat. I think that he came back from that injury a week too early and I think that it did not heal thoroughly enough for him to regain the strength in it which vastly affected his hitting and even possibly his throwing. I would rate his season at 6.8 largely in part to his lack of offense in the playoffs and shoddy infield play. I believe that gaining more rest during the season would greatly benefit this guy by sitting out a game here and there. Seems to be one of those players who is affected by the grind of a long season. I read where he “personally” trains and this could also no doubt tire him further during the regular season. Should consider cutting back with this when playing baseball for the benefit of his career. I believe that Chase will bounce back strong next season.

     
  • Posts: 0 MikeB.

    So far as Howard goes, I think that the layoff recovering from that sprained ankle vastly affected his timing and he never was able to recover. Needs to get a trainer and work on his flexibility during the off-season. Is not very nimble or agile. Might help him to improve his fielding and hitting.

     
  • Posts: 0 Kate

    I think once the shock and disappointment wears off for these guys, they’ll probably be happy to put the 2010 season behind them, think about what went right and what went wrong, be proud of what went right, learn from what went wrong, and start preparing for 2011 with something to prove.

    In a way, it might be a blessing in disguise that production was down, but they ground it out to make it to 97 wins. I think they’ll come into 2011 hungry again. The fact that production was down makes it more difficult to think about the injuries and they may think about what they could have done with the sort of offense they’re used to putting out.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    golden boy. kate your a man baby….utley should be at a 4 for this season. howie should be at a 3. howard is overrated trash.

     
  • Posts: 0 MikeB.

    Kate is fine. Nice post. Rational way to look back at the last season and to look ahead and plan for the next season.

     
  • Posts: 0 Sam

    Well, they say that Moyer and Dobbs opted for free agency and that will free up some wasted money. They also say that Werth isn’t coming back so … it’s time to give Brown, Mayberry and Francisco some regular playing time in the outfield. Ibanez is with us until 2011 and I’m sure no one wants a 39 yr old 260 hitter on their team. We do need to get another power hitter who can platoon between left and right field. It would be nice to get one more reliable starting pitcher. I know Ruben likes Blanton because he doesn’t cost that much but … he gives up too damn many runs. Geeez, we could have a dynasty like the Braves did when they had Maddox, Smoltz, Avery and Glavine. Cliff Lee would have fit the bill perfectly and please … one bad series game doesn’t make you a bad pitcher. ESPN was taking a poll of who they would like to get next year … Werth or Lee and Lee won hands down. I’m sure the Yankees are going to go after him in the off season. PS … the Rangers must be taking batting tips from the Phillies. Hate those friggin Giants!!!

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    @ jeff
    LOL
    No need to call him trash. Dont attack personaly. Hes definately a good guy.

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    I dont think even Cliff Lee could off saved our Post Season. It would be freaking awesome to have him back…Yes i have been drinking…Werth will demand too much money…if only they can get rid of Ibanez….That deal was too many years to begin with…Ibanez is what is holding this team up from making too many moves…The Phils have the money if the really want…it will be just for one year…2012 we will see a salary cut when Ibanez and Lidge come off…Whatever RAJ does with Werth it will anger at least 50% of the fan base…The Yanks are definitely going to go on a spending spree we need to keep up with the right moves…

     
  • Posts: 0 brooks

    Should be a fun offseason.
    Needs anyone?

    1) Bullpen
    2) RH hitter with some pop to replace JW
    3) More BP
    4) Fixing the Rollins/Victorino leadoff experiment – it doesn’t work
    5) Fitting D. Brown into the lineup, platoon situation?

    What am I missing here?

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    1 – RH bat with pop (Diaz, Franceour, etc – check the list there are some decent guys available for cheap. id prefer Diaz, former Phillie killer, good player for our team).

    2 – Brown is the star to replace Werth, he will just need Diaz to split time with until he can be that star. No need to go out and splurge insane amounts of money when Werth is the best option available at that level and we obviously wont be spending that type of cash on that position.

    3 – Bullpen. Sign two good relief pitchers. Bring in another elfty to compete with Bastardo. Give two young arms a chance. Is Herndon really going to stick around?

    4 – Bench – replenish the bench. I would like to keep Valdez around because I have a suspicion that Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins will be missing a lot of time next season too. Both guys are all of a sudden injury prone in recent years. Valdez must stay. I have advocated moving Utley, but thats not as likely, so instead they must keep Valdez to back them up.

    5 – Francisco needs to platoon with Ibanez
    6 – Agree about the leadoff hitter. Enough is enough, make a decision.
    7 – Vance Worley vs Kendrick for 5th starter

     
  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    My take on off-season priorities:

    Putting aside some dramatic trade…

    1. RH OF bat with some power, lots of acceptable if not great guys out there.
    2. Brown is not ready to start but he can platoon.
    3. Francisco to platoon with Ibanez
    4. Give up on Kendrick – bring up some fresh blood for #5 pitcher.
    5. Get another lefty for bullpen, resign Contreras if the price is right, Durbin goes – too expensive, get some young BP help.
    6. Bench = Francisco,Brown, Valdez, Gload, Schneider. If we have 7 in the bullpen we are out of room.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ted Bell

    7.1, 7.2, & 7.3 seem like slightly high scores for Utley this year. According to my calculations, using the Ted Bell Index® (TBI), I’d rate his season a 6.232 out of a possible 10.

    The Giants are two games away from being 2010 WFCs. It’s a great story (even for us Phillie fans), and good for baseball.

    I’m Ted Bell.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Orange poms are NOT good for baseball.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    ^pom poms

     
  • Posts: 0 Phan in the outfield

    Nice Brooks – As long as we all know from ‘the get go’ that as fans we’re not objective about rating the players, then fine. I think everyone has well taken points here. But I don’t see how either Ryan or Chase deserve or earned anything lower than a 5 score. They both worked hard, got injured, came back & tried. If we have actual evidence of them not trying somehow, then that’s another thing.

    Thank you Chuck. I thought it was just me b/c nobody said anything. JEEZE – if I EVER see pom poms of any color at a baseball game again – I will not be held responsible.

    But I guess they’re ready for Halloween.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Whatever. I was going to argue that Utley deserves to be much lower but the truth is that I don’t really care about player grades – our team got us to the NLCS which is nice but they fell flat on their face against the Giants (a team that appears to be destined to win it all). Should I be happy? I guess… but I’m not.

    It’s impossible to grade this team this year. They didn’t meet our expectations so we’re all pissed off but in retrospect, we didn’t deserve to be there anyway. If not for the overachieving Wilson Valdez’ and Mike Sweeney’s of the world, we wouldn’t have even been in the position we were in.

    So how are we supposed to grade these guys?

    Offensive numbers were down across MLB so of course the numbers are going to look bad compared to prior years. Do you grade on a curve? The postseason output of our guys was abysmal- how much of an impact should that have? The injury bug bit everyone… how do you factor that into your scoring?

    I think that you have to grade based on role fulfillment… what these guys are asked to do. For Utley, he’s gotta do whatever we need him to do. Get on base, score runs, steal bases, drive in runs, play defense, pop some HR’s… he’s gotta be able to do a little bit of everything. He did get on base, he did score runs, he did steal bases and his defense was ok. He did not drive in runs and his .275 average is certainly not acceptable- even in a year when the offensive numbers were down across the league. The most alarming thing – his doubles have been wayyyy down in each of the past two seasons. It’s clear to me that he’s trying to be a HR hitter… he was on pace for 21 HR and 88 RBI; a far cry from the 35 HR and 121 RBI that Ryan Howard was on pace for. Chase is NOT a HR hitter… that should be the last thing on his mind. And I hate to beat a dead horse but if you compared what Chase did to what Howard did in the postseason, there really is no comparison (Chase was dreadful).

    But I digress… it’s going to be really tough to grade our regulars and I think that everyone needs to chill out and give the wounds some time to heal before jumping off of any cliffs.

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Phils need a leadoff hitter, a lefty reliever and a RH OF bat.

    Key is going to be what the Phils can get in return for some expensive contracts like Blanton, Lidge and Raul. I’d love to lock up Valdez and add Diaz, Downs/Fuentes as a start and go from there. Crawford despite being lefty would be an awesome addition, but that’s probably pie in the sky.

    Look for a young reliever or two to make the the 25 man roster this season.

     
 
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