Thursday, February 11, 2016

Chase Utley's OPS is below .800 for the first time this season

After a torrid start, Chase Utley is mired in a funk at the plate.

Chase Utley's OPS is below .800 for the first time this season

Phillies second baseman Chase Utley. (Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports)
Phillies second baseman Chase Utley. (Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports)

Chase Utley’s OPS dropped below .800 for the first time this season, putting his batting line more in line with what it was in 2012 than in 2013. His rate stats suggest he is simply normalizing to the player that he has been for the last three or four years. His extra base hit percentage is 9.5 percent, higher than any single-season total since 2008, when it was 11 percent. A the same time, his average of one home run every 52 at bats would be a career low. The other noticeable difference: his walk rate of 6.9 percent would be a career low. Since May 29, Utley is hitting .226/.293/.290 with two home runs and two doubles in 140 plate appearances.

To summarize: Two great months followed by a poor month. Fewer walks. Doubles replacing home runs. Still one of the best offensive second basemen in baseball and a guy who most playoff contenders would love to have. Also a guy whose best years are behind him and won't play forever, and whose defense has dropped off considerably over the last couple of seasons. 

Things to keep in mind as the trade deadline approaches. 

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