Utley Doubtful for Opening Day, Galvis to Start at 2B – Phillies Nation
2012 Spring Training

Utley Doubtful for Opening Day, Galvis to Start at 2B

When will Utley play? No one knows.

UPDATE 11:00 am: Ryan Lawrence of the Delco Times was the first to tweet quotes from a media session in Clearwater with Ruben Amaro Jr.

Amaro says Utley is now “doubtful” for Opening Day  in Pittsburgh. He says surgery has not been discussed. However, lets be honest, Amaro has not been forthright to this point, so we cannot trust that surgery is not at least being talked about.

Amaro also said that Freddy Galvis would be the starter at second base. Wow, the future is now.


9:54 am: Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. issued a statement through the team Monday morning regarding Chase Utley.

“Chase’s rehab process has come to a bit of a plateau.  He has made some strides but not enough to take the field.  He is headed out of town for a few days to be evaluated by a specialist that has helped athletes overcome his issue.  We anticipate that this trip will allow him to build on what he has already done with Scott Sheridan in order to get over the hump.  He wants more than anything to be on the field with his teammates and we believe that this is a step in that direction.”

That’s an interesting quote. What is clear is Utley is clearly not feeling well enough to take the field and is still having discomfort in the knee; enough so that a specialist needs to be seen.

Do we use the term “setback” here? Utley wasn’t doing much of anything baseball related before this, so it’s hardly a step back due to the fact he hadn’t taken a step forward yet.

It also goes to show you that you cannot take the tight-lipped Phillies for their word. Utley spoke with Todd Zolecki of mlb.com and said he hoped to play next week. The game of cat and mouse the Phillies play is fine – they obviously do not want people gaining any knowledge on the inside. However, Utley not taking the field spoke for itself. It’s clear he’s nowhere near baseball-ready, and that’s a scary thing heading into this season.

No matter what you think of Utley, and Ryan Howard, too, they can ill afford to miss important parts of the middle of their batting order.

Right now, we don’t know what will happen with Utley and his battered knees. But we do know they aren’t well enough to take a field and that a doctor will need to step in and help Utley is some fashion.

Click to comment


  1. Ryan H

    March 19, 2012 at 10:03 am

    enough with the doom and gloom. I can’t believe how low the mood is among phillies fans this spring. perk up guys. its gonna be another fantastic season. I’m sure Chase is fine. I know he’ll never be the player he once was. but he’ll still have a productive year. this is just the prescription for utley now. time off. it’s all a farce. if there was an important game tomorrow, he’d be playing

    • Pat Gallen

      March 19, 2012 at 10:40 am

      Ryan, while I understand sometimes this fan base can be all doom and gloom, this ailment is real. This is no farce. Spring Training isn’t all that important, but guys like Utley need their timing down and need to get ready for game action in the field. Its extremely telling that he’s not out there yet and now has to see another specialist.

      I’m all for staying positive, but with Utley, there has been no positive news.

    • Kennie Heller

      March 19, 2012 at 11:15 am

      I totally understand how and why people worry about Chase Utley and his future. But I keep hearing how he isnt the player he once was, and wont ever be the same again. Sorry any true Phils fan know Chase works just as hard if not harder then any other Athlete not just in baseball but any sport there is. It has been disappointing and frustrating with him, but I still wouldnt want anyone else and believe Chase will be just fine and be just as good as ever..

      • schmenkman

        March 19, 2012 at 11:32 am

        Kennie, I think it’s indisputable that Utley “isnt the player he once was, and wont ever be the same again.”

        But many jump from this to the conclusion that he hasn’t been any good the past couple of years. The fact is that he has declined from an extremely high level — even with his decline the past two years, his career to date has arguably been the best stretch by a second baseman of the past 30 years, ahead of some current and future Hall of Famers.

        For the time that he was on the field two years ago he was the second baseman in the game, and even last year he was one of the best. Here’s hoping he can manage his ailments and at least hold on to that level a few more years, ideally in a Phillies uni.

        You might be interested in this article: http://www.thegoodphight.com/2012/2/2/2715299/chase-utley-and-50-years-of-second-basemen

      • David

        March 19, 2012 at 11:43 am

        You can choose to ignore the facts but he had close to the lowest line drive percentages last year and, even after 3+ months of rest he is still not able to play. Utley has had a great run but it is over. The player who was a 300/30/100 3rd place hitter is now in the past.

        Fans shouldn’t be throwing in the towel but there has to be some cause for concern given the loss of the middle of the lineup. Amaro chose to ignore all these facts and instead spent all his money on marginal bench players and an over rated closer. I really don’t understand what he was thinking since he knew Utley’s situation wasn’t going to get better and Howard”s absence from the line up for at least 2 months was assured.

      • schmenkman

        March 19, 2012 at 11:56 am

        David, assuming that was directed at Kennie.

        But I question what “Amaro knew”. Utley started all but 16 of the 116 games after returning, and 8 of the 16 were due to a concussion. He was one of the best second basemen in the league in the regular season, and then hit .438 in the NLDS with a 1.200+ OPS.

    • Troutman

      March 19, 2012 at 12:06 pm

      Ryan, are there unicorns and rainbows in your world EVERY day? Or just today?

  2. George

    March 19, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Typically, Amaro is not saying that Utley won’t start the season on the field, and will not give any idea of if, when, or how, Utley will return. If he’s trying to keep fans optimistic by not being all “gloom and doom,” he isn’t succeeding. In fact, he’s making the matter worse, because Utley’s inactivity has given fans the impression that the entire infield is headed for the DL, and that Utley and Howard will never return or will never produce again, and that Polanco will be next.

    (Speaking of Howard, it amuses me that although fans seem to hate him and his contract, his absence is now being cited constantly as a reason why the team will fail this year.)

    Part of the “gloom and doom” cited by Ryan H is entirely due to the tight-lipped Amaro. When it comes to public statements, I wish he’d either sh-t or get off the pot.

    • ryan h.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:27 pm

      I think its more like philly fans bringin that toxic hateful pessimistic eagles attitude to the phillies. let’s leave that crap on the other side of pattison ave.

    • Caiomhe

      March 19, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      Ruben spent most of the video I saw saying he couldn’t say much out of respect for Chase. So maybe it’s not Ruben who doesn’t want the info out there; sounds like typical Utley to me. Just playing devils advocate I guess. We don’t really know or not know anything we did or didn’t know yesterday, only thing different is that Chase left Florida. Maybe its better they get another opinion since whatever they are doing didn’t help.

  3. The Original Chuck P

    March 19, 2012 at 10:47 am

    I’m the emperor of homer-ville and I can’t spin this in a positive light… Utley needs to get on that Kobe Bryant / A-Rod experimental knee treatment asap.

    The only positive that you could draw from this news is that it will likely give the Phillies more time to evaluate their bench options. At this point, I don’t think there’s any way Utley will be ready by opening day.

  4. Chris

    March 19, 2012 at 11:00 am

    With Howard out for a bit and Utley’s playing time a big question mark, Charlie needs to move Ruiz up in the lineup and see what he can get from him to try to make up for some of those losses. Ruiz has had a really good OBP the last couple years so let’s see what he can do closer to the middle of the lineup. Pence, Victorino and J-Roll are going to have to carry the offense early on. Possibly Polanco as well because he’s had a pretty good spring save for the finger injury.

    • Don M

      March 19, 2012 at 11:09 am

      Ruiz hit in various spots last year …. most of the time, he hit 7th – but here are the #s

      He hit:

      6th – in 28 games, 99 at bats
      7th – in 57 games, 179 at bats
      8th – in 37 games, 114 at bats
      9th – in 10 games, 18 at bats

      …………….Ruiz spot in the order will likely depend on who plays 2nd and 3rd … if there is a combination of Martinez and Galivs – one of them hits 8th .. and the other likely either hits 2nd or 7th … though a lot of that depends on Utley too.

      if Polanco is in the lineup, he’ll probably bat 2nd,

      Victorino could bat 2nd, 3rd, or 5th depending on Pence .. etc..

      There are just too many question marks, but I would say to expect Ruiz to bat 7th most often again this season, occasionally you’ll see him higher – but they want him to focus on catching, not really on his offense

      • EricL

        March 19, 2012 at 11:42 am

        All those positions are too low. Ruiz should be hitting somewhere in the top half of the lineup. His .371 OBP last season was 2nd on the team only to Hunter Pence. That means he got on base more often than any other player. And that’s exactly what you want from the top guys in the lineup, so that the 4-5 hitters will have someone on base when they come up.

        Charlie doesn’t, however, seem to subscribe to any kind of ‘out-of-the-box’ type thinking, so I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for it to happen.

      • The Original Chuck P

        March 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm

        Part of the reason that Ruiz OBP is so high because he bats in front of the pitcher on an NL team… last year’s .371 is well above league average OBP for a #8 hitter in the NL but if you moved him up in the order, you might see those numbers normalize a bit. Hit batting average last year was also almost 40 points higher than league average for a #8 hitter in the NL so he does appear to be one of the better #8 hitters in the league. Also, Ruiz’ career splits show that he has actually provided better numbers down the order… not a huge sample size but he’s been a better hitter out the 6/7 hole (582 career AB’s). His lack of speed doesn’t make him an attractive leadoff man but his high OBP does raise the question… would you be better off with Ruiz batting 1/2?

        1. Rollins (s)
        2. Ruiz (r)
        3. Polanco (r)
        4. Pence (r)
        5. Victorino (s)
        6. Brown (l)
        7. Mayberry (r)
        8. Galvis (s)

      • George

        March 19, 2012 at 1:17 pm

        Eric, your point is well taken, but you’ve forgotten that the first guys in the lineup should also have some speed, which Ruiz will never have.

      • EricL

        March 19, 2012 at 1:33 pm

        Chuck, I don’t think Polanco gives you any more speed than does Ruiz while Ruiz gets on base at a better clip, so yes I’d be happy to seevRuiz in that position.

        George, why? Aside from the fact that slowpoke Polanco regularly bats in the 2 position…Would you rather have a low OBP guy with some speed or a high OBP guy with low speed? Personally I’d go with the latter. Its better, in my opinion, to have a slow guy on base in front of the 3-4-5 hitters than a fast guy on the bench having made an out.

    • George

      March 19, 2012 at 5:39 pm

      Come on! Polanco, I’ll grant, is no speed demon, but he’s certainly faster than Ruiz. And would you really want your first string catcher wearing himself out trying to go 1st-3rd?

      • EricL

        March 19, 2012 at 7:26 pm

        1. Polanco is super slow.

        2. Yes? Why wouldn’t I want my catcher going first to third, under any circumstance?

      • George

        March 19, 2012 at 10:52 pm

        Why? Because he’s playing a very important position and needs to watch what he’s doing on the basepaths. Yes, if he can go first to third without overdoing it, fine. But if he’s pushing extra hard to get there, I wouldn’t run the risk. No one expects a pitcher to try to do that, and no one should expect it from a catcher, either. And Ruiz is just the kind of guy to force the issue when he’s being pursued by a speedster. There’s less danger of that if he’s not in the top of the order.

  5. Don M

    March 19, 2012 at 11:01 am

    The fact is the Phillies have gone without their project #3 and #4 hitters all spring – and neither looks like they’ll play in a Grapefruit League game before the season starts ….

    That’s hardly “doom and gloom” from anyone on this site … it’s just time to be realistic and start to wonder how the Phillies are going to score runs this season .

    What bothers me most about the Utley situation is why he hasn’t been check out by a specialist sooner ? I questioned last week when Galvis started his 7th? 10th game in a row at 2b …. whether it seemed obvious to anyone else that the Phillies have begun the process of looking for their long-term replacement for Utley .. and how they’d rather go with Galvis’ glove instead of whatever offense Wigginton might give you ..?

    Phillies are in trouble without Utley and Howard… the NL East has improved, and we’ve taken a glaring step back … I still like our chances, but I no longer think we’ll run away with the NL East crown .. 95 wins by the Phillies would be impressive this year

  6. Chris

    March 19, 2012 at 11:03 am

    We’re also going to need one of Mayberry or Brown to break out this year.

  7. Pat Gallen

    March 19, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Wow, Amaro says Freddy Galvis will start at 2B with Utley LIKELY being sidelined. The future is now my friends!

  8. The Original Chuck P

    March 19, 2012 at 11:32 am

    I like our chances and I think we can cruise into the playoffs with our pitching but I think in order for us to be considered serious contenders, we need some guys to step up… Brown and Mayberry are certainly two guys that jump out at you. Under normal circumstances, any production that you might see from those guys would likely be considered a huge bonus but this season, we might need a spark… I’m not sure that Wigginton, Nix or Mini-Mart can provide that sort of spark therefore, you have to think long and hard about keeping both Brown and Mayberry around.

    Pence is the most critical piece in our lineup at this point… where would we be without him? Vic and Jimmy need to be laser-focused. This season, we’ll need to find ways to manufacture runs. Say what you want about Brown, he can score runs in a lot of ways… with his legs, with his bat, with his eye… if Howard and Utley aren’t ready to go, I think you have to give Dom the starting job in left.

    • EricL

      March 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm

      Unfortunately, I think it’s more likely that Mayberry regresses than he steps up to surpass (or even match) his performance from last season.

  9. Ian Riccaboni

    March 19, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Hindsight being 20/20? Resigning Jimmy looks pretty good right now.

    • Chris

      March 19, 2012 at 11:35 am

      Seconded. I also think he’s going to be the guy that will try and keep things rolling without the other two big guys. More than ever as Jimmy goes so goes the Phillies will be true this year I think.

  10. TheDipsy

    March 19, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Utley now has no cartilage in BOTH knees, as reported by Matt Gelb. I do not know how any athlete can perform with no cartilage in either one of his knees. I think the odds are better than not the Chase will end up retiring after the obligatory experimental treatments to “create cartilage” fail. I think its very sad. Chase is the best example of a ballplayer the Phils have seen in my generation, IMO.

    Mayberry (1B)

    Bench: Thome, Wigginton, Schneider, Martinez

    You can trade Nix.

    The Dipsy

    • EricL

      March 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      If Utley had “no cartilage” in his knees he wouldn’t be able to walk. I’m sure the cartilage he does have is damaged and inflamed causing pain, but rest assured that there is cartilage there.

      Second, it seems unlikely he retires soon. Guys like Sizemore and Beltran have both undergone microfracture surgery (which is a procedure to ‘grow’ cartilage in your knee), so even if the treatments/injections (I’m assuming he’s already undergone or will undergo platelet-rich plasma treatments) that he’s currently looking into fail, he’s still got that last option of pursing a surgical treatment.

      Success with the microfracture surgery is, unfortunately, not a sure thing, so I could conceivably see him retiring if that were to fail. But that’s quite a way away.

      Finally, move Ruiz way up in your lineup. I’d suggest switching him and Polanco, but getting him anywhere in the top half would be fine. Also, if you don’t want Nix, nobody else does either. You’d have to cut him.

      • George

        March 19, 2012 at 1:27 pm

        Again I point out that Ruiz has no speed. If the Phils need to “manufacture runs,” as so many have pointed out, the team just can’t put a slug in the top half of the order. There’s no hit-and-run when the guy on first has no wheels, and a bunt won’t always work to move him over. I need not even mention that a slow catcher isn’t going to steal very many bases; even if he’s reasonably fast, he needs to save those legs in order to crouch.

  11. Jeff

    March 19, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Your telling me they waited til now. Nothing in November. Go get another
    Pitcher Ruben you a s s h o l e. this team is damaged and old.

    50 million on a closer. 2 million guarteened money to nix. Are you

    You kidding me. There is no way we win with Polly at third and galvis.

    • schmenkman

      March 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      Polanco is not the problem. Very solid last year overall, as his great defense makes up for his deficiencies at the plate.

    • Pat Gallen

      March 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      Welcome back Jeff. Doom and gloom for all!

  12. sandy durso

    March 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Ryan …..its not doom and gloom to realize that right now three out of our four starting infielders are hurt and that we have no idea whether two of them will make it on the field at all this year. For Utley this is degenarative knee disease …..its not going to get better with time its only going to get worse. I am not sure that this team is going to be able to recover so quickly from the loss of all these players and I have to wonder if Galvis wasn’t ready to start at shortstop ….could he really be ready to start at second?

    • Chris

      March 19, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      Ready or not here Galvis comes. I’d say he’s a better long term filler of the position than Martinez or any other of the bench players. Perhaps his hitting really has turned a corner (I doubt that it really is that much better) but he will provide the best D out of any other option we had for 2nd.

      Corey’s deal of Blanton for Callaspo sure is looking good right now although we’ve now lost a good bit of leverage. But if you could package Blanton and a mid level prospect for Callaspo I’d feel a lot better.

  13. Don M

    March 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    While Ruiz does get on base at a decent rate …. he does not hit for a great average … and is pretty slow on the basepaths … is that a guy you want batting 2nd in the lineup?

    When Polanco is healthy, he’s the prototype #2 hitter ….. ….I think the delay on Utley gives Pods/Pierre a greater chance to make the roster – both have OBPs in the .340-345 …

    Giving Rollins the ability to bat 3rd or 5th should help the team in the absence of Utley and Howard . . . . . . but really, I think the Phillies are going to have about 15 different lineups in April – when Ruiz, Polly, Thome, Wiggy, Nix, Mayberry, etc all get random days off …

    • schmenkman

      March 19, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      Don, I still don’t see how Polanco is better than Ruiz batting 2nd.

      Ruiz will get on much more
      He doesn’t strike out much more than Polanco
      He hits to the opposite field just as much
      He can’t be much slower
      You give more ABs to the better hitter

      • Don M

        March 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm

        I don’t think that Ruiz would be bad in the 2-hole …. I just think IF* Polanco is healthy – that’s the most likely spot in the order for him

        as much as people don’t like using “career averages” etc … when a guy has a injury like a sports hernia – has surgery – and should hopefully be ok … …i don’t know how fair it is to hold that injury plagued season against him – or to expect similar numbers, as opposed to what he’s done more consistently in his career .

        Polly is as much a “.300 hitter” as anyone on the teams, and strikesout in only 7% of his at bats …

        I agree that they probably are similar base runners at this stage in their careers …but I don’t know that I would call Ruiz “the better hitter” ..

        Most importantly – Charlie is like an open book when it comes to his lineup, and Ruiz has 7 total at bats in his career that came at a spot higher than 6th in the order. (2nd -3x, 3rd -2x, 5- 2x) … and I don’t know how many of those were double-switch/injury subs, etc. …. I would be SHOCKED if Charlie hit Ruiz 2nd – though I don’t think it would be a bad idea

        I was on the record last year (before Pence) saying that Rollins should have been batting 5th all year ….. there are some things that Charlie just seems to be against

      • schmenkman

        March 19, 2012 at 3:06 pm

        Mostly agree, especially that Charlie is going to stick to a traditional lineup with Polanco (or Galvis) hitting 2nd.

        But after Ruiz was the better hitter in each of the past 3 seasons, I don’t think there’s much question there:

        OPS since 2009:

        Ruiz ..780, .847, .754 (.793 overall, with a .281/.376/.417 line)
        Polly: .727, .726, .674 (.712 overall, with a .287/.335/.377 line)

      • George

        March 19, 2012 at 5:51 pm

        Shmenk, your numbers are skewed toward Ruiz, whether deliberately or not. Polanco was injured most of 2012, so his numbers obviously suffered. 2010 was a career year for Ruiz, which he will probably never duplicate. Ruiz is good, but he’s no second spot hitter if only because you don’t want him exerting himself too much running the bases in front of a speedster. If Thome is batting behind him, I’d say okay.

      • schmenkman

        March 19, 2012 at 6:16 pm

        George, you don’t think using 2011 or 2010 is fair to Polanco. How should we compare them then?

      • George

        March 19, 2012 at 6:51 pm

        You can start by looking at some earlier career numbers. Is it really likely that Ruiz will continue to post .847 OPS numbers (he didn’t in either 2009 or 2011), or that Polanco is going to remain at .674? He was injured when he put up that mark, so I’d expect better. Polanco has declined, but isn’t it likely that Ruiz will, too, given his age? He could decline even more given the very strenuous position he plays.

        Had Polanco had his normal season last year, these averages would be much closer, and even with that injury year, Polly still comes out ahead on BA.You’ve also failed to post BA and OBP except as 3 year averages, which again might be a little more favorable for Polanco in 2009 and 2010. One can’t know if one can’t see them. OPS isn’t the only stat that counts.

      • EricL

        March 19, 2012 at 7:28 pm

        Using career numbers for a former all-star who is now 36 and has had several seasons of what would be considered declining production also skews the comparison.

        Most projection systems use a weighted average, with the most recent seasons weighted most heavily and add in some age-related decline, so I don’t think using the most recent seasons is overly unfair to either player.

      • schmenkman

        March 19, 2012 at 8:00 pm

        George, I was trying to avoid a long list of numbers, and the BA/OBP/SLG are easy enough to look up by year for…
        Polanco: http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1176&position=2B/3B
        and Ruiz: http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=2579&position=C

        You’re right that OPS isn’t the only stat, although of course it includes both OBP and Slugging, but the better overall stat is wOBA, and below are their wOBAs by year and overall for 2009-2011:

        Ruiz: .337, .366, .332 (overall .345)
        Polly: .321, .323, .304 (overall .317)

        The various projection systems have Ruiz’s wOBA in the .324-.334 range for 2012 ,and Polanco in the .305-.317 range.

        While it’s always possible that Polanco overperforms and Ruiz underperforms (due to luck, injury, slumps, etc.), chances are pretty good that Chooch will be the better hitter again this year (for the 4th year in a row).

      • George

        March 19, 2012 at 11:08 pm

        The stats only bear this out somewhat, because Polanco’s numbers were definitely down last year because of his injuries. I know, too, Eric, that numbers should be tilted toward later seasons. But a decline of a 36 year old player from a .300 lifetime BA is a little different than a decline of a 33 year old player in a very strenuous position from a lifetime average of about .270.

        As far as projections go, they are projections, not absolutes, and there just isn’t a huge difference should it turn out to be Ruiz at the low end and Polly at the high end.

        Maybe I’m wrong, but I just don’t see Ruiz performing at his current high level for very long; most catchers (with some obvious Hall-of-Famer exceptions) don’t hold up all that well.

  14. TheDipsy

    March 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Ruiz clogs up the bases so he can’t hit second. They should move Polanco to second and get a third basemen that can field so we can at least have a good fielding infield.

    The Dipsy

    • Ian Riccaboni

      March 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm

      Galvis has among the highest ranges of any player in the minor leagues, Dipsy and Polanco is still an excellent defensive option at third. A move like that would definitely defeat a strength of this team.

      Assuming Mayberry starts at first and Galvis at second, an infield of Polanco, Rollins, Galvis, and Mayberry is still “plus” defensively by any advanced metric.

  15. Chris

    March 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Ruiz hitting 2nd probably is a bad idea because of the clogging basepaths issue. But 5th or 6th should be possibilities. I’d rather have him in those RBI opportunities than Wigginton or someone like that.

    • Don M

      March 19, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      Ruiz and Wiggy actually both have career. 265 batting averages …. Wiggy has a slightly higher OPS = .768 vs. .750 ..

      and though its a small sample size, in 16 games, 54 at bats … Wiggy is a .296 hitter, 3 HRs, 4 doubles, 1 triple ….941 OPS as 8 of his 16 hits have gone for extra bases – in his career at Citizens Bank Park

      Chooch his .259 ,…758 OPS at home . . .

      if my math is correct … Ruiz only K’s in 13% of his at bats … while Wiggy Ks in 19% ….

      • Chris

        March 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm

        I wouldn’t bring in entire careers to this discussion. Look at the last 2 years and tell me who you want hitting there. The last two years are more indicative of both players performance capabilities this year.

    • EricL

      March 19, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      Wigginton has more power which is responsible for his higher OPS, but he gets on base at a much lower rate than does Ruiz. Therefore I don’t think wiggins on is at all well suited for a position high in the batting order.

      Second, Ruiz is no more of a base clogger than is Polanoc, and he gets on base more.


    March 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    It appears that Utley is very close to being finished as a player. He will not get a new contract in 2013. Great player. Hopefully we can get a productive year out of him , although it will be part-time. I really appreciate all this guy gave to us Philly fans.

  17. Jeff

    March 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Pat I’m sorry but I’m tired of being lied to as a fan by this guy. They waited
    Until the end of spring training. Really? Spent all that money on
    A closer when we needed a bat. Nix gets minor league deals for the past
    Two season and we give him guaranteed money. Why? He is
    Terrible. Could of used Valdez at second. We had a chance for armis
    At third. Least he hits for power. We waited to long to trade blanton
    And d. Brown. This team even with utley has no power at all.

  18. Lil' Kim Jong-il

    March 19, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    We’ve now reached the stage of a certified disaster.

  19. Jeff of Nova

    March 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Well its time to start looking forward

    Good thing they have been working Galvis out at 2nd.

    So I think you run your lineup like this


    • Chris

      March 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      My lineup probably looks something like this now that I actually think about it:


    • Don M

      March 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm

      @ Jeff of Nova …… I think there is a decent chance that Galvis bats 2nd sometimes too … Charlie’s comment last week about how Galvis could play 2b at the MLB level … and he also said that Galvis has been the best bunter on the team this spring ..

      however, if you are setting your lineup so that the #2 hitter is bunting a lot – you better have a leadoff man that’s on base enough ….

      I honestly think there will be 4-5 different lineups every week

  20. Chuck A.

    March 19, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    None of this comes as a surprise to me at all. Utley could very well be done (who really knows??), Howard will be lucky to play half a year, and Jimmy and Polly have their own DL “histories”.

    So just who exactly is a “pessimist now”…..????……


    Jeff…. welcome back!

    • George

      March 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      I am guessing this comment is directed at me.

      First, the facts were not in on Utley when I mentioned the pessimists on Phillies Nation. They still aren’t, really, because Amaro is certainly engaged in obfuscation. I’ll admit now, however, that it doesn’t look like a good situation.

      Second, Polanco and Rollins may have DL issues at times, but they’ve still managed to play in a lot of games.

      Third, no one really knows that Howard will miss half the year.

      • Lefty

        March 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm

        You may want to gather a few inanimate objects, don’t kick the grandkids.

  21. Lefty

    March 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Gotta call it like it is. This is just f’d up on so many levels. If I was a pessimist yesterday, I’m a damn cranky one today.

  22. TheDipsy

    March 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    I don’t wanna hear Rollins bitch about hitting first. It’s “all hands on deck” time because your offense is decimated. Rollins and Vic should surround Pence because they are probably the 2 and 3 or 3 and 4 best power sources on the team and they are switch hitters. Pods/Pierre should bat first. It should be presumed the Galvis will not contribute offensively so he is batting 8th….has to. Batting him second is nuts.

    Forcing Brown into the lineup????? A blessing or a curse??? Sure Chase bullshitted everyone about his knee(s). Anyone surprised?

    The Dipsy

    • Lefty

      March 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      Not at all surprised. The surprise is that Sheridan, all the trainers, and RA Jr. bought it. It’s mind boggling,just mind boggling.

  23. Lil' Kim Jong-il

    March 19, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    That’s baseball, folks! We can still go out and enjoy the season, I just wouldn’t recommend setting your sights too high. At this point, the Domonic Brown experiment should begin for real. There’s not much to lose by giving him leftfield and finally seeing what he has to offer. I’m not interested in seeing Podsednik or Pierre right now. Between Mayberry at first (I realize he’s not exactly a kid anymore), Brown in left, and Galvis at second, we may get a glimpse (good or bad) of this team’s future.

  24. George

    March 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Read today that the Phils are looking for catching depth, to which I say:

    Huh? They’ve got no second baseman, a crew of question marks at first, no lefty bullpen specialist bullpen guy, more question marks in left field, and they’re looking for a 3rd string catcher. Not just “huh'” but what the f—! and holy sh–! and any other brutal exclamations I can think of.

    Amaro must be bi-polar or schizophrenic or his I.Q. has suddenly fallen off a cliff.

    • Chris

      March 19, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      Read that on MLB trade rumors too and just shook my head. Where do they have room for another backup catcher if Schneider already has that spot?

  25. Chuck A.

    March 19, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    George…yes, that “pessimist” comment was directed at you. And when all that back and forth happened yesterday it’s true that the Utley “news” hadn’t hit yet.. But is it really news?? The man hadn’t been seen on a baseball diamond all spring so what is everyone to think?

    And while I am no expert or tea leaf reader it makes fairly good sense to say that Ryan Howard will probably miss about half the year.

    • George

      March 19, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      Just because something makes fairly good sense doesn’t mean it’s realistic. There are other scenarios that make sense, like maybe he’ll miss 1/3 of the season. And you still haven’t accounted for the total lack of faith in Polanco and Rollins exhibited yesterday.

      And yes, it’s really news because Utley said just a few days ago that he hoped to be on the field this week.

      But screw it. I’m tired of talking at a brick wall.

      • Chuck A.

        March 19, 2012 at 6:55 pm

        Why thank you…. never been called a brick wall before.

      • George

        March 19, 2012 at 10:22 pm

        I’m not singling you out, and I’m sorry if I’ve offended you. Sometimes, discussion seems rather pointless no matter who is saying what. You believe you’re a realist, I believe you’re a pessimist, that won’t change much. Actually, when I first commented, it was not just you who I was criticising. I was pretty disgusted with mostly the “Polanco will be replaced after fifty games” sort of thing, or that Rollins would play in 100 games at the most. Those are definitely pessimistic projections when you consider both players are willing to play hurt. You questioned me; I responded, and we’ve gone round and round ever since, which is a ridiculous waste of energy. I’ll admit that you are probably talking at a brick wall here, too, in dealing with me.

  26. TheDipsy

    March 19, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    This is my Rx for the offense: Keep the ball in play, move the runners, use the speed (Rollins, Vic, Pods, Pierre). No more three run homers. I don’t think Charlie knows the sign for a hit and run. He’s gonna have to manage way differently now. Gotta play defense now. I hope Galvis can play second.

    The Dipsy

  27. Joe DAgostino

    March 19, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Everyone knows that baseball is a game played from the “Waist” down. Loose your legs, knees, feet and
    your “Waist-Up” game is useless. The Phillies were a disaster last year on offense, and loosing Howard
    ( I think he is out till Sept.) and Utley (Maybe all year) and the Phillies offense is feeble at best. They
    never addressed their offense in the off season. 3rd base needs a power hitter and so does some outfield
    positions. So let’s see…we have John Mayberry and ?????. Well they say hitters will games but pitchers
    win pennants. Uh, I don’t think that happened last year, with some of the best pitching in baseball. This
    could be a very unexciting team this year

    • schmenkman

      March 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm

      “The Phillies were a disaster last year on offense,” — well, they WERE the highest-scoring team in the league once Utley returned, with among the fewest games with 3 or less

      “3rd base needs a power hitter — they need a GOOD player; check

      “we have John Mayberry and ????” — Victorino and Pence

      “Uh, I don’t think that happened last year, with some of the best pitching in baseball.” — regardless of what happened last year, they are built to win a short series

      • Lil' Kim Jong-il

        March 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm

        They scored three runs or less in 50% of their games last year. How much would you like to bet that percentage rises even higher in 2012?

        Total runs scored doesn’t tell the entire story. It’s a misleading metric.


        Over a 10 game span “Team A” scores 10 runs in five games, and is shutout in five games.

        Over a ten game span “Team B” scores 5 runs a game in all 10 games.

        Both “Team A” and “Team B” have scored 50 runs over a ten game span. I guess that means they are equal offensively? Maybe on paper, but I’d go to battle with “Team B”. That’s just a better offense than the “all or nothing” offense.

      • schmenkman

        March 19, 2012 at 3:12 pm

        Agreed on your example — so did you miss the part about “among the fewest games with 3 or less”?

        I was responding to the point about LAST year’s offense. This year’s will depend in large part on how much Utley and Howard can play, but there are some positives, with a full year of Pence, better offense in Left (hard to do worse than the .714 OPS they got from Ibanez and others), and better-hitting bench.

      • George

        March 19, 2012 at 6:07 pm

        Aha! Maybe you’re an optimist after all! You’ve actually cited some positives!

      • EricL

        March 19, 2012 at 7:34 pm

        @LilKim, yes, those teams are equal offensively. One of those teams has more variance, but the total run-scoring ability is equal.

        To illustrate, using your hypothetical teams A & B, if they were to face each other in a 10 game series, what would be the outcome?

      • Lil' Kim Jong-il

        March 20, 2012 at 1:09 am

        Eric – You can’t be serious. My example was put in basic terms for illustrative purposes. If you want to turn in into a hypothetical 10 game matchup to prove something different that’s fine, but don’t play dumb. You know as well as I do that the consistent offense gives you more of a chance to win than the offense that varies between extremes and disappears half of the time.

        They are not the same offenses.

  28. The Original Chuck P

    March 19, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Galvis just hit a two run triple to tie the game… Welcome to the big leagues kid!

  29. The Original Chuck P

    March 19, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Follows up with a nice piece of base running – scoring from third on a shallow line drive that was caught on a dive… If he’s off the bag, he doesn’t score. He heads back to the base and tags on a ball that appeared to be destined to find turf.

  30. Chuck A.

    March 19, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    I’d be more excited about Galvis hitting a 2-run triple in a meaningful game. It’s nice to see and I like the kid … a lot….but lets not get too carried away.

  31. The Original Chuck P

    March 19, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Oh, I’m getting carried away… as Emperor of Homer-ville, I have to start stirring the next batch of kool aid for you folks! Opening day is less than a month away.

  32. The Original Chuck P

    March 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    In all seriousness, if this is our team… this is our team. I’d go to bat with Doc, Cliff, Cole, the Vanimal, Pence, J-Roll, Vic, Chooch, Polly and some hungry rookies. I like our bullpen, I like our bench (although, I like it less when those guys are our starters) and I like our defense across the diamond. Maybe with a little extra speed we can manufacture runs… maybe.

    By the way… Hunter Pence doesn’t have a great nickname. Praying Mantis… ehh. Funny thing, not associated with nick-naming, if you say “Hunter Pence” really fast, it sort of sounds like underpants.

  33. The Original Chuck P

    March 19, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Jake Diekman has struck out 8 batters in 4 spring training innings… has not allowed a run… has walked one batter… has allowed 2 hits… gotta like his chances to see the big leagues this year..

  34. Bob Myers

    March 19, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Hard to take this one in, but it sets up the team to strongly depend on new guys, rookies, unproven talent to step it up. And they just might do it.

    But as a fan, I agree with those who are baffled at the shroud of privacy from Utley. Someone help me understand why Ultely can’t talk to the media about this? And why fans allow him to do this and yet our devotion to him is unflagging.

    • schmenkman

      March 19, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      As the best Phillie since Schmidt, he’s earned some space IMO.

      But beyond that, his comments have indicated that there are good days and bad, and I find it easy to believe that he wasn’t sure himself how bad it was until recently, when his progress “plateaued”. And if he can’t be sure, obviously neither can UC or the FO.

  35. Manny

    March 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    This lineup without Utley drops from a B to a C+…

    Hoping for the best…

    In the meantime, I think that means Jimmy, Polanco, Shane, and Pence (our best 4 guys currently) should be at the top of the lineup to get as many bats as possible. Mayberry, Chooch, Nix/Brown/Wigginton, and Galvis could make the bottom half look good –or dreadful… It’s a coin toss at this point.

  36. bacardipr05

    March 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Wow well all knew something was up with Utley. Ruben is never upfront about anything. Whil e i can understand not been upfront or possibly hiding some aspects, it was obvious something was up when Utley wasnt even taking fielding practice. My thing is why couldnt Utley see this specialist sooner. Why did Utley or the Phils wait till Spring Training to decide to see a so called specialist. I think Utley will hobble out a few games this year and possibly retire at the end of the year. Its time to start the rebuilding process here folks. To me i always said the Phils wouuld wait to Utley contract was up to start this process. This doesnt mean that they still cant field a competitive team.

    • Don M

      March 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      Utley is due $30 M between this season and next …. the chances that he retires are Slim and None .. If this was the NFL – he’d be cut, or traded for a 4th round draft pick

      …. but seriously – the Phillies have nothing to gain by going public with Utley’s injuries – that only weakens their hand in any attempt to trade for additional help –

      • George

        March 19, 2012 at 6:19 pm

        Even with no public pronouncements about Utley, the fan questions would lead me to believe that an announcement would not weaken any trade efforts, because the front offices of other teams are probably seeing wondering all the same things. Even in the unlikely case that they aren’t thinking Utley is injured, they’ed no it as soon as Amaro inquired about the availability of an infielder. Amaro, I think, owes the loyal fans a little more openness. I can understand keeping mum about free agent negotiations, but not this.

    • EricL

      March 19, 2012 at 7:44 pm

      lol, this is laughable.

      There are any number of treatments still presumably available to Utley, including possible surgery if nothing else helps. If, after all of those modalities are unsuccessful, including surgery, then he likely will have to retire or move to a DH only role in the AL. That, however, is at least two seasons away. (If he were to have microfracture surgery tomorrow you wouldn’t know how well he’s recovered from it until well into next year, or possibly 2014.)

      Second, injuries are nebulous things. You can feel great one day and terrible the next. The variability of the human body with regard to these things is huge. So, perhaps Utley felt fine or minimal discomfort early in camp, and the pain increased as he put more effort into fielding drills. Under such a circumstance it’s reasonable to try to take some time off to see if the pain/inflammation would subside at which point you can resume physical activities. A couple rounds of this would probably take a number of weeks, thus the current timetable. It’s easy for us to sit back with 20/20 hindsight and shoot off our uninformed mouths, but these guys are under the care of the best physicians and therapists that money can buy, so if you think you know more about the proper course of treatment and that he should have done X sooner or Y later, you’re fooling yourselves.

      As for the rebuilding process, well, it’s going to be tough to replace a guy who preformed at a Hall of Fame calibre, even if you had a lot of payroll flexibility, which this team does not have. That being said, they’ve still got the best pitching staff in the National League and none of the NL teams have gotten appreciably better on offense, save possibly Miami. They should be fine this season, and potentially next, so long as that pitching staff stays together and they’re slowly able to integrate the next crop of talent in Galvis, Brown, Mayberry and the like. Sure, the gap between the Phils and everyone else has closed, but there’s no reason to blow anything up just yet (or for the foreseeable future, for that matter)

      • George

        March 19, 2012 at 10:45 pm

        Excellent post, Eric. I agree with all of it, and will add that Utley missed two months last year, Polanco was injured most of the season, Blanton couldn’t start after a few early outings, Howard had tendon issues the last two months, the team had no experienced closer at the start, and Oswalt was up and down all year, and still the team won 102 games. I just don’t see why there’s so much gloom and doom.

        I’m still a bit griped at Amaro, though. It’s been pretty obvious that Utley hasn’t been right all spring, but all Amaro’s statements were pure Pollyanna up until today. The “nebulous” nature of injuries may be a factor, but injuries are still injuries and Amaro could have been a little more realistic by mentioning some of the negative possibilities. (I’m not trying to be sarcastic by putting quotes around nebulous; it’s a good word and you used it intelligently, so I’m directly quoting you.)

  37. TheDipsy

    March 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    If you wanna start the year with Galvis at 2B, be my guest. He is a converted shortstop and the back of his baseball card shows a lot of really bad hitting years in the minors. No one will be surprised if he gets pulled after 60 games. Which leaves Martinez. No. At the All-Star break we’re gonna need to find a infielder that can hit AND field, whether that be a 2B or a 3B (if Polanco moves to 2B).

    The Dipsy

  38. loupossehl

    March 19, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    My concern, months ago, was that Utley was done. My concern, now, is that Utley is done. The word from some here, long ago, was that he couldn’t plant his back foot to hit for power. If that’s true, then even if Utley’s OBP should be OK … when he’s able to play, that is … what will his OPS look like? (Since 2007 his OPS has been .566, .535, .508, .445, .425.)

    The Phillies achilles heel (no pun reference to Ryan Howard intended) has been, and is, an aging infield. What has the front office done to address this obvious and glaring weakness? And how does the once-available option of taking a deep breath, hoping for the best, and going after Reyes – and then figuring out how to juggle Rollins and Polanco between 2B and 3B without doing anything from panic mode – look now?

    • Ted Bell

      March 19, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      So the plan should have been sign Reyes to a $106 million deal (with a $120 million deal for Hamels on the horizon) and make Utley the game’s first $30 million bench player? I think you may be playing fantasy baseball.

      I’m Ted Bell.

      • loupossehl

        March 19, 2012 at 10:34 pm

        I said “go after” Reyes – I didn’t say give up the farm, and $106 million would have been over the top. But the Phillies have established themselves as an elite franchise with an inside track to another WS appearance, and maybe … maybe … Reyes would have settled for less, to come over here. We’ll never know.

        In the meantime, given Utley’s degenerative knee condition that can only get worse, you may indeed be correct that we have the game’s first $30 million bench player. No denying Utley’s past greatness – but it looks like we’ll be tying up a ton of money, for little more than wishful thinking, “thanks for the memories” and “it’s been great.”

        As to fantasy ball, given the Phillies aging, wounded infield and newly-arrived $50 million reliever, I leave that to Phillies management.

      • George

        March 19, 2012 at 11:27 pm

        Loupossehl: How do you even know that the Phils didn’t at least “kick the tires” on Reyes? And you certainly can’t think he’d sign for less because the Phils are a contender when the Marlins are one, too.

        I’m sure the Phils would have liked to improve their aging infield, but there are such things as budgets, a lack of suitable free agents, decimation of the farm system, and other teams not wanting to give up a particular player. You can’t just replace everybody in the real world.

    • George

      March 19, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      Maybe Reyes won’t miss as much time playing for the Marlins as he did playing for the Mets. He didn’t even play as many games as the antique Jimmy Rollins did these past three years.

      Or maybe they could have picked up Aramis Ramirez, who can’t field, and is also nearly as old as Polanco. Maybe they should have signed some other free agent who could play second. Oh, wait. Were there any this off season?

      Maybe they should blow up the entire budget, decimate the farm system, and trade for Albert Pujols. He’ll only be 42 when his contract expires.

      • schmenkman

        March 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm

        Good points George.

  39. Erik

    March 19, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    I don’t think there’s any question now that we need Domonic Brown’s bat in our order on an everyday basis.

  40. Jeff

    March 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Utley. You ever hear of surgery.

  41. George

    March 19, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Jeff, you ever hear of the risks of surgery, the recovery times for surgery, or conditions which can’t be improved by surgery?

    • EricL

      March 19, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      This. If his problem truly is degenerative cartilage in the knees there’s very few surgical remedies. Basically the most current procedure being done is microfracture surgery, in which they drill a lot of tiny holes into your kneecap. This causes the underlying bone to bleed, which results in a blood clot plug, which contains both blood and stem cells. This bloody plug is what then assists in forming new articular cartilage in the affected area.

      The problem is that the cartilage that is formed by this plug is not the original type of cartilage that was in the join, which is hyaline cartilage–a substance which has one of the lowest coefficients of friction of any known material (For comparison: Ice has a coefficient of friction of .1, Teflon has a coefficient of friction of .04, a hyaline-cartilage lined synovial joint has the coefficient of .001!). The newly formed plug generates fibrocartilage rather than hyaline cartilage, which is less resilient and more likely to future degradation. Further, the plug has to be very carefully managed after surgery to allow for the formation of this new cartilage.

      This is the operation that Grady Sizemore and Carlos Beltran have undergone, with differing results. The success rate is varied, but it’s certainly no sure thing and is a big risk to be sure. That’s why it’s the absolute last option. There are other procedures that they might try before that (PRP injections, ACI implantation, etc) but we really have no way of knowing what he’s already tried and how he’s responded to those procedures.

      • Lefty

        March 19, 2012 at 11:18 pm

        Jesus Doctor EricL, would you please just get in touch the that moron GM of ours and teach him that the best time to try new things is November and December, not March. I could tell Utley was wincing and grimacing every time he stopped at a base last year from my television, and they couldn’t see it everyday watching up close? And this is not 20/20 hindsight, I kept saying this last season, and they sat on their hands and did NOTHING new this offseason to try to help him. If it’s true they have the very best medical personnel and trainers why didn’t they see this specialist during the months when he was, oh I don’t know, NOT REQUIRED to play? Yes I’m shooting my damned uninformed my mouth off.

        And it’s spelled “caliber”,and you forgot Amare Stoudamire who successfully had the surgery and he jumps as high as he can every fifteen seconds for a living.

        There, I feel better now, how about you 🙂

      • George

        March 19, 2012 at 11:45 pm

        Lefty, I couldn’t find “caliber,” or “caliper” or “calliope” anything even close is Eric’s entire comment, although I did note that he left the “T” out of “joint.” Also, there’s no need to cite everybody who has had successful microfracture surgey when you’ve stated that results are mixed. That would right there include the ones who can jump up and down.

        Maybe, too, you’re jumping on the “best medical personnel” thing a little too hard. For one thing, Utley’s offseason training regimen was altered. For another, maybe they did send him to one or even more specialists. Maybe the current specialist is the second or third opinion. For a third thing, maybe Chase himself was partially to blame by not being open about how his knees were feeling.

        There. I feel better now, too!

      • schmenkman

        March 20, 2012 at 6:54 am

        “calibre” in the 7:44 post above (channeling Tony Sinclair)…

      • Lefty

        March 20, 2012 at 7:26 am

        Thank You, Schmenkman, Methinks you missed the joke George.

        And, Okay maybe I was hard on the “best medical personnel, I’ll grant you that. But I’ve had bone on bone in my right knee for 35 years, and trust me, these people don’t know what they are doing- and I’ve seen the best. I live in Baltimore, and I’ve seen the folks at Johns Hopkins and a guy that the Ravens players go to. They can’t fix it with “rest” or “waiting to see if it will get better with exercise”. According to all the liars, (the F.O., and yes Utley the golden boy himself ) that was the plan they concocted. BAD PLAN. Cartilage does not come back by itself!
        Viable alternatives-
        1) Try Synvisc- very expensive and doesn’t work all the time.
        2) Partial Knee replacement- (minimally invasive, 6 weeks you’re back)
        3) Microfracture surgery as suggested by Dr. “calibre” Tanquery salesman- No guarantees, but if they’d done it, last year, he’d be ready soon. And the reference to Amare was to point out that he could actually become the old Chase Utley again.
        4) Knee Replacement- well this one’s not viable- the pain is gone, and so is ability to play Major League baseball.

        But he can not ever be the same on this plan. I’m speaking from experience here, my career ended early too, but at the time, all they had was total knee replacement with poor outcome percentages to be an athlete again. More choices now, and if it was my 30 million bucks, I’d aggressively try everything known to man. And all RA Jr. cares about is protecting Utley’s privacy.

        I’d find something to kick right now if I wasn’t so sure it would hurt me more than the inanimate object. Got to work now, have a great day guys.

  42. psujoe

    March 19, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    At least we got younger. Pray Blanton does very well and he can be traded for an average infield type and a mediocre prospect.

    • schmenkman

      March 19, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      “At least we got younger.”

      Now THAT is an optimist.

  43. brooks

    March 19, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Wow –
    This season is set up for a hero’s story or a blood letting..
    When Howard is out of the lineup last year, the Phils were under .500. When any of the others were out (Utley, Poly, Jimmy, Vic) the Phils were way over .500.
    Key point gentlemen.
    We could see someone (Junior, Pence, Brown) step up big or perhaps Vic, Jimmy, Chooch and Poly all have above average years – but who could be stepping up? Can we hope?
    Regardless of how the Phils do before Howard comes back, he needs to come back very, very strong in order for the Phils to reach 6 in a row.

    • schmenkman

      March 19, 2012 at 11:54 pm

      The Brookover article centered on that stat was not one of his better recent efforts. Small samples impacted by 24 other players are typically not a good measure of how good or valuable a player is. E.g. what was their ERA in those games? Were other players in hot or cold streaks?

  44. Mazinman

    March 19, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    “Plateau” is an interesting word from Ruben in that description. I think both the Phillies and Utley are coming to the realization that the current therapy he is receiving will not be enough and something new will have to be tried.

    Well the kids have a golden opportunity to prove themselves major league ready. Lets see what they do with it.

  45. Bruce

    March 20, 2012 at 1:38 am

    It’s a downer to say the least to read Utley leaving camp to see a specialist. It’s not exactly a surprise given that Utley has not played a single inning this spring. I have a personal peeve with the GM’s decision to trade a super sub, Wison Valdez who can play all the positions (probably catch too as well as pitching..*smile*). However, that’s beating a dead horse and we moved on.

    Assuming the latest info is accurate regarding Galvis, defensively, we should not lose much with him taking Utley’s position at 2nd base. Offensively, well.. that’s a problem the manager will have to somhow compensate for. Perhaps, give some playing time for the infielders from the bench in hopes of finding a hot bat. Most importantly however, the manager needs to stress once again as last year, to play a sound fundamental game of ‘small ball’ or situational hitting.; doing all the little things in moving the runner in scoring position. And let defense and solid pitching, starters and bullpen, take care of the rest.

    Someone mentioned on this thread that the team needs 95 wins to win the division. Before Spring training began, I felt that the East Division is going to be a very tight race with so much parity in the competition. Just about all the teams have improved..even the Mets with Santana returning. Although, they are more likely be playing the role of a spoiler in September. Given the uncertain situation with Utley and Howard, I’ll not be surprised that a team will win the East Divisiion with just 92 wins. I’m hoping that team is the Phillies.

  46. Chuck A.

    March 20, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Lefty, well said above at 7:26AM. Very well said.

  47. loupossehl

    March 20, 2012 at 10:40 am

    George: You’re right; I don’t know if Phillies kicked the tires on Reyes or not – and if they did, much of my criticism is moot. However, the front office can be as tight-lipped as possible, but usually – here, or at other Phillies blogs – you catch a whiff of something going on; a rumor here and there … and as it pertains to Reyes, I heard absolutely nothing. I’m assuming from that, that no attempt was made … but I could be wrong.

    As to whether I think that Reyes might have signed here for less because we’re a contending club – I certainly do. First of all, we’ve been there before. Secondly, we have the best front-line pitching in baseball. Thirdly, Reyes could have achieved star status in the midst of rabid baseball fans and a filled ballpark – as opposed to playing in what has been a Marlins echo chamber. Finally, as to the Marlins also being contenders – sure they are … now … in large part, because they signed Reyes!

    We just spent $50 million to land a very good player who fills a need – but not a glaring one – and who, if we work his ass off and possibly threaten his arm health in so doing, will take the field for an inning or maybe two, every 2 or 3 days over the course of the season. That’s $50 million (or a big part of it) that could have been redirected toward actually improving this team with a badly-needed everyday player – even a medium-calibre (caliber???) one. As it stands now, we’ve stood still – at best – while the Marlins, Nats and Braves have done a lot better than that.

  48. Elma Vanandel

    March 25, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Hmm i hope you dont get offended with this question, but how much does a site like yours earn?

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