Phillies first base coach Davey Lopes talked with David Laurila of Baseball Prospectus during last weekend’s series against the Red Sox. When answering a question on why the Phillies aren’t stealing as many bases this season, Lopes pointed to Utley’s knee as one of the problems.
“Chase [Utley] has been hampered by a little bit of a knee injury,” said Lopes. “That’s more than likely why our numbers are down, but it’s still confusing to me as to why they haven’t been as aggressive in attempting to steal.”
Everyone has been searching for an injury that tells us why the All-Star second baseman has been struggling so mightily this year, both on the base paths and at the plate. Is this the reason? If Utley’s knee is enough to hamper his immense skill running the bases, then it certainly could be hurting him with the bat in his hands.
As we know, Utley won’t divulge his injury secrets – it’s not his way. However, we may now know the issue behind Utley’s downward spiral this year.
UPDATE, 3 p.m.: Amaro told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that Davey Lopes was wrong, that Utley is not injured.
He’s absolutely healthy…Davey Lopes is not a doctor. He’s not our spokesman. He has given out wrong information. Chase is not injured. There is no injury. I will dispute what Davey says. That is false and incorrect information. He has had some intermittent soreness like any other player has over the course of a season…”
Doesn’t sound like Amaro is too happy with Lopes comments on Utley’s knee. If you read between the lines, doesn’t it seem as though Amaro is unhappy with the fact that Lopes may have spilled the beans about the injury? Instead of ripping the first base coach, would it have been better from a PR standpoint to simply refute the claim made by Lopes, rather than throwing him under the bus? Stay tuned…
Update, 5:30 p.m.: Chase Utley spoke to the media today, and this is what he had to say:
“I actually feel pretty good, I think there’s a little confusion and maybe a little bit of differnce of opinion in what Davey said. In my opinion, injury is something that keeps you off the field. You know when you play 162 games plus over the course of the year your going to have aches and pains – that’s part of being a baseball player. It’s something you have to deal with. In my opinion, there’s no injury whatsoever….Aches and pains are part of this game, and that’s something that we all have to deal with. We do what we can to keep our body in the best shape as possible, but there aren’t too many days when you go out there and feel 100 percent every single day.”