Where did the best second baseman in baseball go?
Chase Utley’s batting average continues to go down the tube. Starting at well over .300, it’s been a slow dissent to the .200’s. It doesn’t take much to notice he’s struggling.
In his last 10 games Utley’s only managed to squeak out a .206 average at his 34 appearances at the plate. Combine his four runs and seven hits with his four strikeouts and 0 stolen bases and it doesn’t add up to much.
Not only has he been having trouble behind the plate, but his field game is starting to be affected. In the June 15 game against the Yankees Utley cost the Phillies a double play, but didn’t pick up an error because they still managed an out.
So what’s the deal? Why isn’t he performing? And if he’s not performing, why’s he still in there?
Some are leaning to the excuse that Utley may be hurt again. After the previous problems with his hip, it would be no surprise for Utley to keep his mouth shut and play through the pain. If he really is hurt, he needs to speak up and do what’s best for the Phils.
If he’s hurt, he needs to get out of there and get healthy, so he can contribute to the team and do what he does best. Lately, he just hasn’t been helping the Phils out. Utley’s been ending innings and grounding into double plays way too often at a time the Phils are desperate to put some points on the board.
On the other hand, it might just be a slump. Every player has them.
Either way, he needs to get healthy or get out of his slump. Fast.