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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Chase Utley booed after fifth at-bat ends in third strikeout

No wonder Frank Olivo never moved to Clearwater…

The crowd is thinning here at Bright House Field as the game heads to extra innings, but a few of the fans that remained booed Chase Utley after Tampa Yankees lefty Rigaberto Arrebato struck him out to end the bottom of the ninth inning.

Arrebato got Utley to swing through an offspeed pitch and the boos followed.

Utley is 0-for-5 with three strikeouts and a foul out in the first game of his minor-league rehab assignment.

Repoz Posted: June 13, 2012 at 09:34 AM | 40 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: phillies

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   1. Textbook Editor Posted: June 13, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4155458)
This won't end well. In fact, it may already be over.
   2. McCoy Posted: June 13, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4155460)
Alfonso Soriano is available.
   3. Lassus Posted: June 13, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4155464)
TE - Seems a little premature to say so. One game? I am surprised the Phillies fans weren't booing him on his way to his first AB, however.

Also, if I get to see Alfonso Soriano start at 2B in a major-league game for the Phillies, my life would pretty much be complete.

   4. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 13, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4155469)
Who gets booed on a rehab assignment? Did Phillies fans travel en masse to Florida for the occasion?
   5. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 13, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4155479)
There's a lot of missing information about what happened this off-season. All of a sudden this spring, Utley let the team know that he wasn't ready to play. At least that's the narrative in the press. There is a sense that he was not straight-forward with the team. However, I'm at a loss as to what he had to gain by lying.
   6. Esmailyn Gonzalez Sr. Posted: June 13, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4155485)
Boo? F### you.
   7. TerpNats Posted: June 13, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4155532)
Rigaberto Arrebato
Just saying that name makes one wish Harry Kalas were still around to announce it.

Also, if I get to see Alfonso Soriano start at 2B in a major-league game for the Phillies, my life would pretty much be complete.
What? Were you too young to see Juan Samuel play?
   8. Textbook Editor Posted: June 13, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4155535)
However, I'm at a loss as to what he had to gain by lying.


If Utley really thought his playing career was done, there would be enormous pressure on him (via the Phillies, via the press, via the fans) to hang it up and forego the rest of his contract ($15 million in 2012, $15 million in 2013). That alone would be incentive to just keep endlessly rehabbing and endlessly trying to "get back," etc., etc. Giving up $30 million is just not something any reasonable person would do unless under duress... and so you have what's going on now.

I suspect the Phillies have no insurance on the contract, which means there's no real recourse for the Phillies even if they were to declare (after medical exams) that Utley is physically unable to play baseball. Unless Utley retires (and he won't, would be my guess), they're out the $30 million.

I don't really blame Utley in all of this--he's doing exactly what I would do in faced with the same circumstances. Who I would blame is Amaro for having no plan B (or C). Contracts go bad. It happens. But when it happens, you damn well better have the imagination to have a plan B, plan C, etc. Amaro doesn't strike me as a very imaginative guy.
   9. Textbook Editor Posted: June 13, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4155538)
What? Were you too young to see Juan Samuel play?


I've used this exact comparison for Soriano for years!
   10. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 13, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4155550)
Soriano is better than Juan ####### Samuel!
   11. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: June 13, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4155552)
It's a little shocking, the speed with which the Phillies have fallen to pieces like a rusted-out forty year old jalopy. Was it really only last season that they won 102 games and had a run differential of +184? Incredible.
   12. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 13, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4155553)
If Utley really thought his playing career was done, there would be enormous pressure on him (via the Phillies, via the press, via the fans) to hang it up and forego the rest of his contract ($15 million in 2012, $15 million in 2013). That alone would be incentive to just keep endlessly rehabbing and endlessly trying to "get back," etc., etc. Giving up $30 million is just not something any reasonable person would do unless under duress... and so you have what's going on now.

But the money is guaranteed, I don't get it. Utley never worried about pressure from press or fans particularly. If he knew he couldn't go, he could have called Ruben and told him and try rehabbing. The net effect on Utley is no different than it is now, other than Utley wouldn't look like a dope.

When you talk about Plan B, how far do you go for each position? Who should they have gotten as backup? The Valdez (no, he's not a savior) trade was perplexing (best guess is to keep under the cap) but they did have Freddy Galvis available, who was ok enough until he got hurt. Plan C was Pete Orr, Barfield and several others who didn't pan out in ST. Maybe not the most astute plan, but it was a plan.
   13. eddieot Posted: June 13, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4155562)
Who I would blame is Amaro for having no plan B (or C).

Freddy Galvis was plan B but he got hurt. So I guess you could blame Ruben for not having a third MLB-ready 2B but I don't think most teams do.
   14. eddieot Posted: June 13, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4155563)
...and a Coke to Edmundo.
   15. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: June 13, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4155568)
The Phillies should have checked the CarFax.
   16. Bug Selig Posted: June 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4155594)
So I guess you could blame Ruben for not having a third MLB-ready 2B but I don't think most teams do.


Hell, the Tigers wish they had one.
   17. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 13, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4155611)
Freddy Galvis was plan B but he got hurt. So I guess you could blame Ruben for not having a third MLB-ready 2B but I don't think most teams do.


Since when is Freddy Galvis a ML-ready 2B? He was carrying a 65 OPS+ this year at the time he went on the DL, and he's a career .246/.292/.321 hitter in the minors. Oh, and he'd never played a professional game of 2B in his life until 2012.
   18. ColonelTom Posted: June 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4155617)
I suspect the Phillies have no insurance on the contract, which means there's no real recourse for the Phillies even if they were to declare (after medical exams) that Utley is physically unable to play baseball. Unless Utley retires (and he won't, would be my guess), they're out the $30 million.


The various tidbits I've read say that MLB contracts typically aren't insured beyond 3-4 years. If that's true, Utley's likely well into the uninsured part of his 7-year deal. Ugh.
   19. zonk Posted: June 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4155619)
Soriano is better than Juan ####### Samuel!


Not defensively... and that says a lot...

What's amazing to me is that he's even such an awful LF. Was at the Tigers/Cubs game last night, and I've seen little leaguers track a flyball better than the one he made hilarity with. Granted, it was hit right at him, but it was comically bad the way he couldn't quite decide if he should turn and run or backpedal like a fool.
   20. Spahn Insane Posted: June 13, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4155626)
Was at the Tigers/Cubs game last night, and I've seen little leaguers track a flyball better than the one he made hilarity with. Granted, it was hit right at him, but it was comically bad the way he couldn't quite decide if he should turn and run or backpedal like a fool.

Yep. I was there too...and speaking of little leagueishness, he botched that hit immediately after costing the Cubs at least one run by falling for the fake-to-third-throw-to-first trick. I don't think I've ever seen that before--and he wasn't just out, he was out by about 10 feet (and suffered the additional indignity of having Prince Fielder land on top of him in the process).

I recall Harry Caray always responding to that fake by saying "That play went out with high-button shoes." And that was about 25 years ago.
   21. Textbook Editor Posted: June 13, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4155627)
I should clarify: when I say plan B I didn't mean for 2B specifically, I meant for the offense Utley would have been supposedly providing. (I would say the same thing about Howard.)

The obvious answer to overcoming the offense black hole without Howard/Utley was to take advantage of the LF situation (with Ibanez leaving) and upgrade the offense via that position, while taking steps back at 2B and 1B (at least in the near term).

Another option would have been to go out and replace the offense by getting a bat-first 3B and punt Polanco (if the Red Sox were able to trade Scutaro, you think the Phillies would have been able to move Polanco, even if some salary was eaten).

Instead, the plan for replacing Utley/Howard seems to have been (a) Rollins will rebound! (b) Mayberry will hit!, and (c) Utley/Howard will be back soon! No worries!



   22. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 13, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4155639)
TE, I get your point now but Utley didn't need replacing in the off-season. The Howard replacement "plan" was a 1B/LF hydra of Wigginton/Nix/Mayberry. Maybe not the best, but a plan. I don't want to be Amaro's defender exactly, his spending all his money on Papelbon was a dubious decision in light of the weaknesses of the team.
   23. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4155649)

Since when is Freddy Galvis a ML-ready 2B? He was carrying a 65 OPS+ this year at the time he went on the DL, and he's a career .246/.292/.321 hitter in the minors. Oh, and he'd never played a professional game of 2B in his life until 2012.


Galvis' defense is outstanding, enough so that BRef has him as a 0.6 WAR overall, FWIW. Maybe there's some irrational exuberance in the dWAR number but he is really good, really instinctual, really intelligent in a baseball way. He's a legit Plan B to hold the fort.
   24. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: June 13, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4155656)
and speaking of little leagueishness, he botched that hit immediately after costing the Cubs at least one run by falling for the fake-to-third-throw-to-first trick. I don't think I've ever seen that before--and he wasn't just out, he was out by about 10 feet (and suffered the additional indignity of having Prince Fielder land on top of him in the process).


Curtis Granderson fell for it last year and it was the last out in a one-run game. I'm sure he would have preferred to have Prince Fielder fall on top of him if it meant it wasn't the final out of the game.
   25. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: June 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4155666)
Rigaberto Arrebato


classic '80s song, right?
   26. BDC Posted: June 13, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4155688)
I saw Galvis play earlier this year, and sat up and took note. He has an odd move as he throws to first after fielding a grounder, almost like a pitcher's motion (not a full windup, but at least a stretch motion). The last time I saw a second baseman do anything that interesting while throwing, it was Manny Trillo. Galvis was about as good a hitter last year in AA/AAA as Orlando Hudson was at the same age in A ball, so I'd hardly rule out his having prospects for as good a career as Hudson someday.
   27. Textbook Editor Posted: June 13, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4155711)
classic '80s song, right?


A Mr. Roboto reference!
   28. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 13, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4155715)

Instead, the plan for replacing Utley/Howard seems to have been (a) Rollins will rebound! (b) Mayberry will hit!, and (c) Utley/Howard will be back soon! No worries!


I guess I don't understand why having Mayberry in the lineup wasn't a reasonable plan for replacing Ryan Howard. He came into this season with a 126 career OPS+ in nearly 400 PAs, and he's 28. That's about as good a backup plan as you can have.
   29. ColonelTom Posted: June 13, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4155805)
The LF/1B situation wasn't bad until Laynce Nix got injured and fell off the face of the earth. (Seriously, has anyone heard an update on the guy?) Before Pierre's great spring, they were planning on using a combination of Mayberry/Nix/Wigginton to cover 1B and LF, with Thome getting the occasional start if his back allowed. Mayberry turned into a pumpkin, Nix got hurt, and Wigginton's services - such as they are, defensively speaking - have been required at 3B because of Polanco's constant ailments.

Thome was a bad fit for this team because they knew they'd be relying on platoons for much of the year at 1B and LF. Positional flexibility is key if you're going to have platoons in the NL, and Thome can't play anywhere. Even if he'd been able to play a few innings here or there at 1B, that doesn't help if you have to hold another guy on the bench to replace him if his back gives out.

The other roster-construction problems have been (1) the lack of a veteran 2B/3B backup and (2) the lack of bullpen depth given Contreras' questionable status.

They knew Utley had missed 1/3 of a season with a degenerative issue in his knee, and they saw that he had no power last year. Polanco was coming off elbow problems and surgery for two sports hernias. RAJ decided to roll the dice with Galvis and Michael Martinez. Mini-Mart's late-spring injury may have been a blessing, since Orr and Fontenot are significantly better players. Honestly, though, even adding an Alberto Callaspo-level player to the infield mix wouldn't have made this team much better - maybe a win or so in the first 3 months.

RAJ's bullpen solution - such as it was - was to hope that their big 3 could get them to the 8th or 9th inning most nights. Unfortunately, the team's inability to score runs has often left the team tied or behind after solid starts. Amaro went with a low-cost, grab-bag approach in case Contreras couldn't answer the bell - Qualls, Stutes, Herndon, De Fratus, Schwimer, Sanches, and Aumont. Every last one of them has been hurt or ineffective. He'd have been killed in the media as the next Ed Wade if he spent big on middle relievers, though.

No team survives this many injuries without collapsing. The bigger worry is that they're getting old and the farm system is barren. If they trade any meaningful prospects to patch up this year's squad, RAJ needs to be fired. It's time to look ahead to 2013. If the team miraculously rebounds and competes for the WC, great. If not, c'est la vie - trade soon-to-be FAs if they bring back good prospects, or just stay the course and wait till next year.
   30. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 13, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4155811)
Galvis was about as good a hitter last year in AA/AAA as Orlando Hudson was at the same age in A ball, so I'd hardly rule out his having prospects for as good a career as Hudson someday.


I think he's a perfectly fine prospect going forward, but I'm sticking with my position that having him as Plan B in case of an Utley injury was short-sighted.
   31. zonk Posted: June 13, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4155820)
Hindsight is 20/20 and I'm not saying that either DeWitt or Baker are any great shakes, but I'm still a bit surprised that the Phillies didn't pick up either back in March... They can both play 2b/3b and they could have been had very cheaply (heck, DeWitt, IIRC, could have been done with a waiver claim... if not gotten for Lendy Castillo).

   32. ColonelTom Posted: June 13, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4155825)
Agreed on Galvis (he needed another year in AAA) and DeWitt/Baker. I don't think any of that would have changed the Phils' overall record more than a game or two, but they would be a little easier to watch without the amateur-hour defense of Orr, Fontenot, and Wigginton at 2B and 3B.
   33. baudib Posted: June 13, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4155837)
Phillies were 7th in runs in 2011, 6th so far in 2012.
   34. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: June 13, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4155844)
A Mr. Roboto reference!

If only Charlie Gehringer had come along 50 years later.
   35. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 13, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4155873)
Are we talking about the Blake DeWitt who was released for Adrian Cardenas?

EDIT: Heh, Cardenas is 5-31 with 5 2Bs. Now there's something you don't see every day, Chauncy.
   36. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: June 13, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4155936)
i think what happened with utley was that he didn't push himself over the winter because he wanted to come into spring training healthy, and then when he got to spring training, he wasn't ready for the intensity of the workouts. i don't think he deliberately misled the organization about the health of his knees, i think he just overestimated the ease with which he'd be able to get back into game shape.

and then the howard thing was bad luck. if his wound hadn't gotten infected, he would have been back in the lineup may 1 at the latest, and that would have gone at least some of the way towards improving the offense.


and then there's the roster construction issues. with howard and utley on the DL, that's 35 million that's not on the field. and you add to that the 70 million committed to the rotation, and that's 100+ million that's not contributing to the team's offense. add on top of that the 12 million you're paying papelbon, and that's 2/3 of your payroll that isn't winning you games.

and the bullpen is beyond horrendous. i'm just gonna quote what was written above, since it's spot on:

Amaro went with a low-cost, grab-bag approach in case Contreras couldn't answer the bell - Qualls, Stutes, Herndon, De Fratus, Schwimer, Sanches, and Aumont. Every last one of them has been hurt or ineffective.
everyone in the bullpen right now (save papelbon and bastardo) is an absolute gascan. there is just noone who they can put in the game and expect to throw a clean inning, and it's killing them.
   37. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: June 13, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4156047)
I think Charlie summed it up best: "we don't scare nobody". They aint skeered.
   38. Sunday silence Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4156728)
how is Thome doing? He's hitting .293 or so; what does he look like in the field?
   39. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4156785)
Sunday, he's big, immobile and fragile in the field. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Phils give him his release after their tour of AL parks is done so he can catch on in the AL somewhere.

He's been horrible as a PH or starter in the field; he's been raking as a DH. He ker-rushed a 466' HR last night.
   40. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: June 14, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4156866)
... and so you have what's going on now.
..which is the way he wants it. Well, he GETS it.

And I don't like it, any more than you men.

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