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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Utley could play third base next year (and even this year)

5 Galvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong.

The Phillies aren’t ready to turn to 2013 just yet, so Chase Utley started Monday night’s game against the Mets at second base.

Not third base.

Utley continues to work out at third, and while it’s not a certainty that he’ll be playing there next year, it’s more and more becoming a real possibility.

He may even play there this season, but general manager Ruben Amaro and manager Charlie Manuel both suggested Monday that won’t happen until the Phillies give up on this last-gasp run at a wild-card spot.

“Only if he feels comfortable there, and likely only if we’re out of the race,” Amaro said.

Utley continues to work at third during early batting practice, and he was there again on Monday. The word is that he’s feeling more comfortable there, and it’s obvious the Phillies are becoming more comfortable with the idea.

If Utley plays third, Freddy Galvis would likely play second base, giving the Phillies a stronger overall defensive infield.

The Phillies want to add at least one significant hitter over the winter, but they figure it will be easier to add that hitter in the outfield. They would still have the option of adding a third baseman, and leaving Utley at second base.

The District Attorney Posted: September 18, 2012 at 01:56 AM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: chase utley, freddy galvis, phillies

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   1. Sean Forman Posted: September 18, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4238930)
If Utley plays third, Freddy Galvis would likely play second base, giving the Phillies a stronger overall defensive infield.



AAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Chase Utley is like Joe Morgan in that it seems like nobody including himself realize why he is so damn good.
   2. Loren F. Posted: September 18, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4238976)
Would moving him to third keep him healthier? Because that's the ONLY possible upside of moving to him to third, and I am skeptical 3B would be significantly easier on his knees.
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 18, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4238985)
Second base is a meat grinder. I'd assume pretty much anywhere is better for a guy with lingering injury problems.
   4. aberg Posted: September 18, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4238992)
I could kind of sort of see why you would do that if you could go sign a legit 2B option. I know 3B is bone dry, so that was my initial thinking, but if it is just going to be Galvis, then it looks like a terrible idea.
   5. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 18, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4239001)
We discussed Kevin Frandsen in a thread yesterday. He looks like a starter right now, but he hits more like a 2B and fields 2B better. I think next year he's going to be a super-sub behind 2B Galvis and 3B Utley. Of course Galvis hits more like a pitcher.

Apparently the best 3B available as free agents are Maicer Izturis and Jeff Keppinger.

When Utley first came up there was nowhere for him to play behind 2B Polanco and 3B David Bell. "Trade Bell and put Utley or Polanco at 3B", we all cried. They were unable to trade Bell but eventually they traded Polanco.
   6. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: September 18, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4239013)
Apparently the best 3B available as free agents are Maicer Izturis and Jeff Keppinger.


Yeah, the 3B market is just bone dry this year. The Braves are lucky to have Prado and Francisco as options post-Chipper, as odd as that sounds to say. I'm not sure what the options are at 2B, but there's no reason to think Utley/Galvis wouldn't be more productive than FA 3B/Utley, all things told. The point is not to maximize Chase Utley's raw value by playing him at 2B regardless. The point is to maximize the team's overall talent level by playing Utley+the best non-Utley candidate at either 2B or 3B.
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 18, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4239017)
Are the White Sox going to pick up Youkilis' option? I guess they probably will, now. But he could be a good stopgap if not.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 18, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4239018)
Apparently the best 3B available as free agents are Maicer Izturis and Jeff Keppinger.


Mark Reynolds will certainly have his $11 mill option declined, if you consider him a 3B.
   9. Loren F. Posted: September 18, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4239025)
Mark Reynolds will certainly have his $11 mill option declined, if you consider him a 3B.


Jim Thome might be available too.
   10. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: September 18, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4239026)
"Trade Bell and put Utley or Polanco at 3B", we all cried.

Not true. I said shiite-can Bell and play Polanco at 3B.
   11. UCCF Posted: September 18, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4239029)
Jim Thome might be available too.

At this point in his career, Thome might have a better chance of playing the actual base than he would playing a third baseman.

"Jim, we just need you to lie there on the baseline. Once in a while, someone will slide into you. Don't worry, we'll fashion some kind of padding."
   12. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 18, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4239038)
Utley's minor-league career is a bit odd. He spent every inning of the 2002 season at third base in AAA, and never played 3B before or after.

2002 was the year the Phils' main priority was trying to get rid of Scott Rolen. If Utley hadn't committed 28 errors in his 120 games at 3B, I guess they would have made him the heir apparent at 3B instead of signing David Bell to that four-year contract.
   13. The District Attorney Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4239050)
2002 was the year A) the Phils' main priority was trying to get rid of Scott Rolen. If Utley hadn't committed 28 errors in his 120 games at 3B, B) I guess they would have made him the heir apparent at 3B instead of C) signing David Bell to that four-year contract.
It's impossible to figure out which of A, B or C is more crazy. Gee, I don't understand why Ed Wade couldn't turn the Astros around...
   14. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4239065)
Even more mysterious, when they traded Rolen the main prize they got back was 26-year-old starting second baseman Placido Polanco. Who knows what Ed Wade's decision process is.
   15. Loren F. Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4239084)
Wow, and then they turned Polanco into part of a season of Ugueth Urbina. That's some fancy horse-trading.
   16. base ball chick Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4239103)
well you can't hardly blame ed wade - scott rolen was a good for nothing who immediately slid out of baseball and

oops

ed wade is good at finding relievers offn the scrap heap. PERIOD.

i can see putting utley at third instead of second IF he can play third and IF it makes him less likely to get re-hurt AGAIN. i can understand why his hitting is valuable as a second baseman. but i don't understand why it makes any difference if he and the only other available 3B switch positions if their offensive numbers are the same.

jeff keppinger is a lousy thied baseman - he really is a second baseman
   17. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 18, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4239158)
it's not like third base is all peaches and cream on defense thanks to the sudden movements (dives/rushing in on bunts) but yes, it's easier in relative terms than second base

it's also true that utley's games played and ops plus keeps trickling down every year for a while now. the phillies would be remiss not to consider other options to at minimum keep him in the lineup.

chase will be 34 this winter. he's at the tipping point where guys either have another 3 years or so of solid play or just keep petering out.

if aramis ramirez can have a 5 plus war season at age 34 so can chase utley. easily
   18. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: September 18, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4239208)
The Phillies should target Corban Joseph.
   19. alilisd Posted: September 19, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4240200)
I am skeptical 3B would be significantly easier on his knees.


I'm with Harvey. Less ground to cover, essentially you only have to move to your left although you will occasionally have some balls to your right but mostly reaction plays, not something you have to run for. You never have to make an awkward play at the base to try to avoid a runner trying to take you out. 3B seems much less demanding than 2B.

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