Utley's Deep September Funk


utley strikes out.jpgChase Utley
looks dead tired out there.

He is hitless in his last 17 at-bats and is hitting .083 (3-for-36) with a triple and two RBIs in his last 10 games. He is hitting just .193 (22-for-114) with three doubles, three triples, two home runs and nine RBIs in September.

“He gets worn down physically and mentally,” Charlie Manuel said. “He needs some rest.”

Manuel rested Utley Thursday and pulled him after the third inning in today’s 4-3 loss to the Marlins. He should rest in the season finale tomorrow.

Looking back, Utley could have used more rest earlier this season, especially coming of surgery on his right hip. Before Thursday, Utley had just two days off since May 24. That could explain why he has struggled so much this month. Utley works ridiculously hard during the season. He watches tons of film. He takes tons of extra hitting. The intense preparation seems to have taken its toll mentally. The physical beating he takes from playing every day seems to have taken its toll physically.

Here is a look at Utley’s career splits by month (average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage):

  • April: .309/.390/.600
  • May: .292/.382/.523
  • June: .301/.383/.536
  • July: .341/.407/.581
  • August: .270/.366/.450
  • September: .269/.357/466
  • October (seven games, not including postseason): .227/.370/.591

The numbers suggest pretty strongly that Utley tires in August and September. In the future, Utley might be better served getting a few more days off during the season. Utley might not like it. Manuel might not like it. But would it be better to sacrifice Utley’s bat in the lineup a few times earlier in the season for more production down the stretch? It might.

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5 Comments

Not big news Todd. I posted a comment at least a week ago asking whether Chase was nursing another late-season injury. Something ain’t right.
I’ve said it before: Charlie treats Chase differently than he treats other players. If Rollins was going through this, he’d have been dropped to sixth or benched altogether. Meanwhile, Chase has stunk for 30 days, and he’s still hitting third.

Go figure.

The bench needs a major overhaul this offseason. We need someone better than Bruntlett and Cairo for the utility IF role so that we can give Utley and Rollins more rest when they need it. We should have gone after Mark DeRosa at the deadline. Rubens failure to upgrade the bullpen and bench at the deadline could end up being our undoing.

finkbomb: Especially when they have Matt Stairs, who is essentially useless except for the late-inning pinch hit appearance where he goes up and swings as hard as he can.
Yesterday, Cairo looked like he was running in the sand. Even the broadcasters said something.
As far as the bullpen, I think they counted on a few pitchers who couldn’t find their way off the DL, and it cost them.

It’s not Utley’s best work, but an OPS of .961 from the second base position is elite in the major leagues and at least points to a recovery for Chase.

Oh, I totally missed that those are career splits, ignore the above.

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