Worst Start Ever for Utley

Chase UtleyRyan Howard takes the heat, but Chase Utley is struggling worse than Howard through the Phillies’ first seven games. In fact, this is the worst start of Utley’s career through the team’s first seven games.

Rk Year #Matching PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS ▾
1 2014 6 Ind. Games 28 24 3 11 3 0 2 6 3 2 .458 .536 .833 1.369
2 2008 7 Ind. Games 32 26 8 9 2 0 3 6 5 0 .346 .438 .769 1.207
3 2010 7 Ind. Games 34 26 8 9 2 0 2 6 8 1 .346 .500 .654 1.154
4 2009 7 Ind. Games 31 25 7 10 1 0 1 5 5 3 .400 .516 .560 1.076
5 2013 7 Ind. Games 30 27 5 10 2 1 1 7 2 5 .370 .400 .630 1.030
6 2005 5 Ind. Games 16 15 2 5 0 0 1 5 0 3 .333 .313 .533 .846
7 2007 7 Ind. Games 35 31 4 8 4 0 1 3 2 7 .258 .314 .484 .798
8 2006 7 Ind. Games 29 27 2 6 3 0 0 3 1 5 .222 .276 .333 .609
9 2015 7 Ind. Games 26 22 1 2 0 0 0 3 2 6 .091 .154 .091 .245
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/14/2015.

“It’s just a matter of time with Chase,” Ryne Sandberg said after yesterday’s 2-0 loss to the Mets. “I have no worries there. He gets quality at-bats. Chase will be fine. We just need to create some opportunities with men on base for those guys in the middle of the lineup.”

I’m not sure if Sandberg is saying Utley and Howard are struggling because the No. 1 and 2 hitters aren’t getting on base enough, but that should not affect Utley or Howard at the plate that much. Will Utley be better than he has been? Yes, although he has not homered since Aug. 10. It is the longest homerless drought of his career, stretching to 175 at-bats. But he posted a 1.297 OPS in Spring Training, so he was swinging the bat well recently.

Is he the only reason the Phillies are struggling offensively? Absolutely not. But he is a big reason why the team has scored just 16 runs in seven games.

Sandberg said he is not considering any significant changes to the lineup. I think that could come in time, but seven games into the season is not the time to bump Utley and Howard. I know nobody likes to hear this, but a big part of managing is managing people. You don’t take two long-time Phillies and in one day move them out of the spots they have been hitting their entire careers. They deserve a little more time. How much time? I’m not sure, but certainly more than seven games.

8 Comments

I don’t agree with Howard. It isn’t just 7 games. It’s been years, a poor spring training, “and 7 games.” He needs to be pushed down to the 7 hole if he’s in the line-up at all. We have a 4th spot in the line-up, we don’t have a clean-up hitter. They might as well bat Galvis 4th, because Howard is simply an out.
Baseball is a game about adjustments, if you’re too stubborn or unable to make them, you don’t belong there.

Please, no more attempted sacrifice bunts that go straight to the pitcher for an out at 3rd base….

I think the results of tonight speak for themselves…..

On a related note, only this team could homer 4 times and still lose. Unwatchable.

Yup. It was a matter time. That’s the difference: Chase is an intelligent enough hitter to adjust and snap out of it. Howard? Not so much

22 at bats is just a blip. Baseball is a marathon. Everyone wants to bury the Phils for the whole season ; lets let it play out. BTW I don’t think Howard is done. He always starts slow. He is not the player of 2009 but he can still hit 30 hrs and 100 rbis.

I think Chase read your post Todd!

So, Howard is now batting 7th. Want to revise your conclusion?

not sure it is intelligence rather than just ability. For whatever reason, Ryan has not shown an ability to adjust to whatever the left-hand pitchers are doing to him. Agree about the marathon, and about Howard still posting decent numbers. But when they want to, pitchers can almost always get him out. He’ll get his numbers, but the team will still be piling up the losses. Hopefully the young guys get some good MLB experience and confidence this season, and maybe next year this team will at least be competitive…..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: