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Blog Entry

Without Utley, Phils' lineup has a big hole

Posted on: March 9, 2011 2:58 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 3:00 pm
 
LAKELAND, Fla. -- The problem for the Phillies isn't finding someone who can take over for Chase Utley at second base.

No, the problem is finding someone who can do what Utley does at the plate. The problem is finding someone who can drive in 100 runs and score 100 runs.

Good luck.

The Phillies still don't know how long they'll be without Utley, who hasn't played this spring because of what they've described as patellar tendinitis in his right knee. But the club announced Wednesday morning that "additional opinions" will be sought, and it's clearer than ever that Utley could miss significant time.

That likely means Wilson Valdez plays second base, at least in the short term. The Phillies could still add another utility infield type, and perhaps they could even make a bigger trade, although right now a deal for someone like Michael Young seems highly unlikely.

Valdez filled in well at shortstop last year when Jimmy Rollins was hurt, and he also started 35 games at third base in place of Utley last year. But if Valdez can capably fill the vacancy at second base, there's no way he can take Utley's place in the Phillies' offense.

Without Utley, as Manuel pointed out, the Phillies are missing their third- and fifth-place hitters from last year. Jayson Werth, of course, left last winter as a free agent.

Manuel hit Placido Polanco in the third spot in Wednesday's spring game against the Tigers. He said he has told Polanco that he'll also hit fifth at times.

Polanco is a quality hitter, one of the best No. 2 hitters in the game. But he has never driven in 100 runs in a season in his career, and only once scored 100 runs in a season.

Manuel listed Raul Ibanez and Jimmy Rollins as two other candidates to hit third. But Rollins is the Phillies' leadoff hitter, and Manuel isn't sure he wants to take Rollins out of that role.

As Manuel said, "It'd be better and easier if [Utley] is in there."

And that may be why Manuel is holding out hope that Utley will recover quickly.

"We've still got time," he said Wednesday.

They still have time. Right now, though, they still don't have Chase Utley.


Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 5:25 am
 

Without Utley, Phils' lineup has a big hole




Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 4:20 pm
 

Without Utley, Phils' lineup has a big hole

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 30, 2011 8:00 pm
 

Without Utley, Phils' lineup has a big hole

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 23, 2011 5:09 pm
 

Without Utley, Phils' lineup has a big hole

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:28 am
 

Without Utley, Phils' lineup has a big hole




Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 5:05 pm
 

Without Utley, Phils' lineup has a big hole




Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 12:44 pm
 

Without Utley, Phils' lineup has a big hole

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Since: Nov 27, 2011
Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:57 pm
 

Without Utley, Phils' lineup has a big hole




Since: Mar 28, 2010
Posted on: March 11, 2011 2:37 pm
 

Without Utley, Phils' lineup has a big hole

Perhaps it's time to give Delwyn Young a shot, I remember how he raked during spring training last year. His brother Delmon took a while to develop but really came on last year for the Twins. I like these guys, they have great energy. Great move inviting him to camp, can't believe no one else took a flyer on this guy.



Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: March 11, 2011 1:50 pm
 

Without Utley, Phils' lineup has a big hole

born,

Utley's pretty much done if he needs surgery.
If surgery is necessary he is far from done. Worst case he misses some time at the beginning of the season.

If he needs surgery YES he is done for the year
May want to read Brand Inges story with the same exact injury it took him a year and half to recover

Rollin's calf injury probably was never fully healed last year so if that injury is still around you have no middle infield.
Rollins injury is fully healed and he comes to spring training in the best shape in years.

maybe, maybe not
Have to remember Jroll is another year older and not a big guy and he is wearing down
I personally would try and trade Jroll now for a younger infielder or outfielder since we are going to probably lose him after this year anyway along with Ibanez and still have a huge hole in RF



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