Chase Utley 3

The Los Angeles Dodgers made headlines in the world of Major League Baseball on Wednesday with the acquisition of Chase Utley. The 36-year-old has spent all 12 years of his professional career with the Philadelphia Phillies’ organization and blossomed into one of the most respected players in the game.

Although the California native had been dealing with ankle issues during the beginning and middle of the season, Utley finds himself healthy since coming off of the disabled list and ready to make a contribution. The left-handed hitter was acquired in wake of Howie Kendrick’s hamstring injury, as an insurance policy and as depth to this Dodgers roster, which needs all the postseason experience they can get.

General manager Farhan Zaidi clarified the role of Utley with the team beginning with his arrival on Wednesday by stating that Utley already has a slot to fill, via J.P. Hoornstra’s Twitter:

Although many analysts would say that Utley is in the midst of perhaps his worst season, the second baseman had been dealing with critical injuries that would affect the batting approach of any Major League hitter. Since he has come off the disabled list however, the former World Series champion has had a rejuvenated approach. In the eight games since being activated, his slash line is .484/.485/.742, with five doubles, five RBIs and a home run.

In his career at Dodger Stadium, the four-time Silver Slugger has put up remarkable numbers. In 167 plate appearances, he is slashing .320/.389/.613, numbers that any Major League hitter would welcome their way.

With the impressive numbers put up at Chavez Ravine, Zaidi has a clear and precise idea of where Utley will be in the lineup:

The major point of confusion that comes along with the Utley trade is something that he stated in his press conference. With his 5-and-10 veto rights, the player chose a list of teams that he would approve playing for, on one condition. If he were to agree to a trade, he wanted a role on a team that involves him playing on a consistent basis.

Since Kendrick is currently on the disabled list and isn’t expected to go about a rehab assignment until September, we can expect to see Utley getting consistent starts at second base. This opportunity thus allows Kiké Hernandez to use his utility role to fill in other positions, such as giving Pederson and Jimmy Rollins a day off. When Kendrick returns towards the end of the regular season, Utley could have a different role with the ball club, via Eric Stephen of True Blue LA:

On the season, Utley is batting .217 with a .284 on-base percentage, five home runs, and 30 RBIs. Since returning from the disabled list, the UCLA alum has recorded a hit in every game he has played in, resulting in an eight-game hitting streak.

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About The Author

Eric Avakian is a senior at Cal Poly Pomona majoring in marketing and business administration. Growing up in Burbank, California, Eric grew up as an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan.

8 Responses

  1. Josh

    Yeah let’s put an over the hill 36 year old at 1B or 3B and take the bat out of the two best hitters on the team

    Reply
    • Ryan

      Your not seeing the big picture. This is all about freeing up Kike so he can rest our starters. Most teams suffer a large setback when a starter sits, but with Kike, he hits well enough we don’t lose anything. Neither Turner no AG, can play every day. Is this your first year watching baseball?

      Reply
      • DodgerBlueThru&Thru

        I see what you’re saying, but they’ve also removed an effective bat from the everyday line-up, too, as Kike will likely not be substituting every, single day! I also think they should be looking for bullpen help too, however, as has been evidenced in a number (if not all) of games they led and ended up losing in the 7th and 8th innings.

      • Josh

        Ryan, you’re saying AG can’t play everyday. The last 9 seasons he’s played at least 156 games (avg 159-160). This year if he plays every game going forward (which he should) he’ll be at 159 this year. But we all know Mattingly loves doing his platooning, so utley will see his (undeserved) share. When howie comes back he may never see a right handed again.

  2. Tmax

    I liked bringing up the young kid they got from the Braves, Peraza. He looks to be a very good contact hittter and has the component we do not have which is base stealing abilities and speed. He came up for a couple of games and played well.
    Frankly I would have brought him up. Cut Cayaspo and use Kike to platoon Pederson against Lefties as he is having a terrible time and is all messed up. I think Pederson will be a very solid hitter but he is foundering right now. Offensively he is a rally killer. Kike is a contact hitter and when the ball is put in play somettimes weird things happen. Strikeouts do not help with offensive production. I wonder now if they plan to sign Kendrick.

    Reply
  3. WS

    So how much money is this imported “brain trust” going to waste to have the Dodgers miss the playoffs? With a bullpen that blows three out of four games we are not going to hold off the Giants and the Central will get both wild cards. We have traded for three second baseman, gee if only we had a second baseman year who could hit, run, bat leadoff, etc. like maybe Dee Gordon? But hey we got the Marlin’s top pitching prospect who we could have used but no we traded him to the Angels for a one year rental. How is Heaney doing for the them? and for how many years in the future? Need I go on?

    Reply
    • jambo

      Dee turns out to not be a fluke. Heaney is pretty good as well. Resigning Howie shouldn’t be a problem if they choose to.

      Reply
  4. Jackson Ebner

    This was a perfect opportunity to either test Kike playing every day at 2nd, or Peraza, instead they bring in yet another short term rental. Concerned this front office operates more like a fantasy baseball team, every day another transaction, while this team just can’t seem to gel and stabilize.

    Reply

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