Friday, August 28, 2015

It's unlikely, but door not closed on Chase Utley switching positions

Begin with this: Charlie Manuel is not so sure playing a position other than second base will alleviate the pain in Chase Utley's chronically injured knees. Any such position switch is unlikely.

It's unlikely, but door not closed on Chase Utley switching positions

0 comments
Phillies second baseman Chase Utley is still recovering from a knee injury. (Richard Lipski/AP Photo)
Phillies second baseman Chase Utley is still recovering from a knee injury. (Richard Lipski/AP Photo)

Begin with this: Charlie Manuel is not so sure playing a position other than second base will alleviate the pain in Chase Utley's chronically injured knees. Any such position switch is unlikely.

"If he's going to have pain, he can have pain at first base, left field, right field, wherever. Just like he would have at second," Manuel said. "Getting him healthy and seeing what he can still do is the big thing."

But then there is this: Manuel would not completely shut the door on Utley playing left field or first base, however unlikely, upon his return. Utley played in his first extended spring training game Monday in Clearwater, Fla., and went 3 for 4 with a home run as designated hitter.

Utley is still weeks away from a return, but his progress allows some moments to think ahead. Freddy Galvis has played adeptly at second base. There has been production in left field from Juan Pierre, but it remains unsettled.

More coverage
 
Utley homers in Clearwater
 
Top area prospects await MLB draft
 
The Phillies Zone: Some potential Phillies draft picks
 
Pattison Ave.: Phillies' All First Round Draft Team
 
Sportsweek: Count on Phillies getting a deal done for Hamels

Could the Phillies move Utley to keep Galvis active? It's unlikely, especially in the middle of the season, but still not totally ridiculous. Manuel said the idea has come up in informal conversations. But before anything crazy were to happen, the manager said Utley has a strong say.

"We should sit him down and really ask him that before we do that," Manuel said. "He's earned that right to at least have a say in that."

When asked if he was committed to Utley as his second baseman, Manuel declined to answer.

"I don't have to right now," Manuel said. "When he comes back, we'll see. Why should I answer that today? That's sending the wrong message."

Whatever the case, it's likely Utley is eventually the Phillies' second baseman. But down the line, a switch is not as crazy as it seemed before.


Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.

0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

The place for up-to-the-minute Phillies coverage from The Inquirer's beat writers and columnists.

Jake Kaplan Inquirer Staff Writer
Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
Marc Narducci Inquirer Staff Writer
Matt Breen Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
letter icon Newsletter