As a Los Angeles Dodgers fan – you had the chance to savor Chase Utley’s last season in the game. You were given this chance because Utley announced in July that it would be his last ride.
Furthermore, the writing was on the wall in the early going. Skills were eroding for Utley to the tune of a .231 average and .644 OPS at the time he made his announcement. It was clear that his biggest contribution to the Dodgers would be his veteran presence, not the value he provided int he stat line. Still, Utley played a role in the 2018 Dodgers; and his fingerprints will remain on the organization for years to come even as he settles into retirement.
Sputtering Final Season
Utley’s final season in the big leagues really won’t be about statistics. He appeared in 87 ballgames and hit .213 with one home run and 14 runs batted in. Still, he stole three bases and had just an OPS of .610 in comparison to a sterling .823 on his career. Utley doubled ten times and tripled once while scoring 18 runs.
Milestone & Season Highlight
Utley joined an exclusive club in April when he was hit by a pitch for the 200th time in his career. Moreover, it moved the six time All-Star into eighth place on the all-time list. It is a stat that epitomizes Utley – the ultimate team player making the ultimate sacrifice in a hard-nosed manner.
Utley has more shiny stats on the back of his baseball card. However, for anyone that spent a good amount of time watching Utley play; it is Utley in his essence.
Of course, Utley will not be stepping on the playing field in 2019. After retirement to spend more time with his family, it was announced that Utley will remain part of the organization. In the last bit of exciting news we have on Utley, he will remain with the Dodgers in the capacity of the baseball operations department. Numerous Dodgers you see taking the field in 2019 will be better professionals because they had the experience of playing with Utley. Beyond 2019, there’s an excellent chance he ends up in Cooperstown someday.
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