So before the Phillies dropped a 2-1 decision to the Miami Marlins that ended their postseason chances, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. and manager Charlie Manuel informed Utley they would not pursue the switch. His work at third base was done.
“I don’t know if it’s a matter whether or not he can do it,” Amaro said. “I think it’s more a matter of practicality and what’s really best for the team overall. While having that option would be helpful, I don’t know if it’s really an option that’s going to make us necessarily better.”
...Amaro insisted the decision was not based upon Utley’s lacking ability at third. He played the position 10 years ago at triple A with erratic results. His half-dozen practices at third impressed team officials, specifically Sam Perlozzo and Ryne Sandberg. Perlozzo has instructed infielders for three decades. Sandberg made the transition from third base to second as a player.
Both Amaro and Manuel agreed with those evaluations. Amaro, for one, said the project was not “dead.” But Utley will cease his work there and it appears the team is fully headed in another direction.
“In retrospect,” Amaro said, “it would be difficult to make a real assessment in six games, to watch this guy play and say, ‘OK, we know Chase Utley is going to be an average defender and better for our team.’ That’s a very difficult thing to be able to assess. None of us are good enough scouts to be able to do that.”
Posted: September 29, 2012 at 05:18 AM | 5 comment(s)
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