Utley Could Use A Break
I’ve said for some time that Utley needs more rest than Charlie Manuel provides. Utley beats himself up during the course of a season. He wears down, and it hurts him at the plate late in the season.
Just take a look at Utley’s OPS (on-base-plus-slugging percentage) throughout his career:
You can see that Utley’s production drops late in the season because he is running out of gas. Knowing this trend, it would make much more sense to sacrifice Utley’s bat in the lineup one or two extra times a month earlier in the season so he remains fresh throughout.
“It might be beneficial on occasion, but it’s difficult,” Utley said. “You want to play. We all want to be out there every single day, no matter if you’re feeling good or bad. Before I gave Charlie a hard time when he wanted to give me a day off. Now I might not give him as hard a time. We’ll see. We’ll see how it plays out.”