Stark on 97.3 ESPN: Utley’s Health, Blanton, NL East – Phillies Nation

Stark on 97.3 ESPN: Utley’s Health, Blanton, NL East

You read that title and you start to sweat a little bit. Fear not, Phillies fans, it’s not THAT serious…but it is.

Jayson Stark of joined “The Sports Bash” with Mike Gill on 97.3 ESPN FM and said he doesn’t think Chase Utley will ever be completely healthy again. After years and years of ravaging his body by playing at an unbelievably high level, Utley is slowly breaking down. Can he hold up?

Stark also talks about topics like the new closer, Joe Blanton, and the rest of the National League East, which he says is closer than you might think. Listen to one of the best baseball writers around.


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  1. Jeff Dowder

    February 17, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Chase looked like a HOF candidate from 2005-2009, but sadly those days are over.

  2. betasigmadeltashag

    February 17, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    I know a few of you on Philliesnation live by these guys talking, but I never really got Stark, baseball insider and all, I take whatever he says with a grain of salt. I have not listen to it yet cause I am at work and have not vol. But is it a shock that at 34 Chase is not ever going to be 28 again or 29 or 30 Really. Is Jeter ever going to be totaly healthy again, is ARod is anyone who has played this game hard for 8-10-12 years, Shocking, you may want to rest JRoll, and Chase, and Poly and even Ryan some during the regular season. STop the presses. And has the East caught up to the Phillies maybe a little bit but no 7-8 wins caught up. that is my opionon maybe I should be a baseball insider

    • Jeff Dowder

      February 17, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      It’s not a shock to us because we’ve seen all the injuries over the years. Utley’s decline didn’t come gradually because it isn’t really all due to the aging process. There was a drastic drop off after 2009 at a relatively young age. He went from a 30 HR guy to a 15 HR guy in the blink of an eye.

      It’s a lot like what happened to Dale Murphy (again because of wear and tear). From 1982-1987 he may have been the best player in the game. He looked like a lock for the HOF. Then suddenly at age 32, his numbers took a nosedive and he looked like a completely different guy.

      • schmenkman

        February 18, 2012 at 7:13 am

        Hopefully we can get 130-135 games from him in 2012. Last year he started 100 of 116 after returning, which works out to 139.7 per 162.

        Here’s an article on Utley’s place in history, and his recent decline:

      • schmenkman

        February 18, 2012 at 7:16 am

        Highlights from the article linked above:

        1) his first 7 full years (2005-11) have been the 2nd best 7-year stretch for a second baseman over the past 50 years, behind only Joe Morgan

        2) he is still one of the best second basemen in the game

      • Lefty

        February 18, 2012 at 8:35 am

        Schmenkman, I read that a couple weeks ago, it was an excellent posting. So easy to forget how good he’s been. The future is as always, uncertain, but projection 2 would be fine.

    • brooks

      February 18, 2012 at 8:32 pm

      Agreed, you should be an insider Beta!
      Jason did not have much to say at all, nothing of consequence anyway.
      He thinks that Pierre played too much last year? Huh? He doesn’t think that Junior is ready for a full time spot, perhaps… but don’t leave out Brown as a potential LF roster spot either.
      Chooch worked himself into the ground? Really?

  3. Vandermille

    February 18, 2012 at 3:43 am

    I had a mental lapse and thought that “Joe Blanton” following “the new closer” was an appositive. The point-two seconds that followed were terrifying.

    • Lefty

      February 18, 2012 at 8:24 am

      Agree, the 0.2 seconds were terrifying, I got caught in that too.

  4. Lefty

    February 18, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Stark is not always right, but he is absolutely spot on when he says that Charlie Manuel, despite the lip service, does not rest the older players properly. Last year maybe he felt he did not have the tools at his disposal. RA Jr. spent the offseason working on the bench (and bullpen). Charlie should have the guys he needs this season to give Utley, Polanco, Rollins, and Howard when he comes back, the proper rest older players need to be strong at the end of the season. The Valdez trade was a bit of a head scratcher, but I guess that’s how they justify paying Nix a two year deal. And they do have others that can fill the spots as we learned yesterday from Ian’s breakdown, with Orr, Luna, Frandsen, along with the protected 40-man guys like MM, Galvis, Garcia, and Hernandez.

  5. bacardipr05

    February 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Agreed that Chalies doesnt rest his starters enough. However, in a way can you blame him. Live by the Sword. If the pennant race came down to the last game in the season and if the Phils didnt make it. Everyone would be singing a whole different tune. Cholly shouldnt had used his reserve squad so much. If he would of trotted his starters out for a for a few more games we wouldnt be in this position. I know it you know it Cholly knows it theres no denying that.

  6. George

    February 18, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    With a bench consisting of the hobbled Gload, No-hit Martinez, Schnieder (who was also injured a lot), Orr, Valdez, Francisco, and some other guys whose names I can’t even recall, can anyone really blame Manuel for not resting his regulars enough?

    • Brian Sr. of CO

      February 18, 2012 at 6:18 pm

      Well said. That was a rather pathetic bench overall honestly. Hell the best bench players we probably had was Valdez (rather serviceable, and I would still want him back honestly) and Gload. I guess Orr could be worse. Schneider can call a hell of a game, but can’t hit Left handers worth a damn.

  7. Manny

    February 18, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    #Phillies did indeed show late interest in Burnett, planned 3-way to move Blanton elsewhere, believing AJ was better than Blanton #Yankees

  8. brooks

    February 18, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Last year, everybody was hoping for the Valdez we saw after the AS break (when he stopped hitting into a record pace of double plays) – but this never materialized.
    The bench last year was pathetic. This year looks much improved but haven’t we pretty much said the same thing for a few years now? Since say 2008?

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