Saturday, February 6, 2016

Utley, Howard split up; Moyer bumped to Wed.

NEW YORK -- Charlie Manuel insisted the only reason he split Chase Utley and Ryan Howard up Tuesday was because of who they were facing, Yankees lefthander CC Sabathia.

Utley, Howard split up; Moyer bumped to Wed.


NEW YORK -- Charlie Manuel insisted the only reason he split Chase Utley and Ryan Howard up Tuesday was because of who they were facing, Yankees lefthander CC Sabathia.

Manuel batted Utley second, the first time he hasn't hit third all season. Both of the lefthanded batters in the middle of the Phillies' lineup have struggled mightily. But Manuel said this was the first time he thought about splitting them up.

And even if Utley had been his normal self, Manuel maintained he would have considered making the same move.

"I might have," he said.

Utley hit second 18 times in 2009 and did well. He hit .309 with three home runs and 13 RBIs in 68 at-bats. The last time he hit anywhere other than third was July 30, 2009.

Manuel said he has watched a lot of video of Utley's recent at-bats. He said it looks like Utley is right on most of the fastballs he sees but the results haven't come.

"Every now and then, he gets out on his front side and he looks like he's not ready," Manuel said. "When you see him chase breaking balls, his weight has already shifted to his front side and he becomes just an arm and hand hitter. That's a sign that he's not staying back."

Utley has fared much better against lefties (.295 average, 1.114 OPS) than righties (.240 average, .723 OPS).


Lefthander Jamie Moyer will start Wednesday's game instead of Thursday, pitching coach Rich Dubee said. Kyle Kendrick will be pushed back another day to Thursday.

Dubee said he wanted to give Kendrick another day of rest after the Phillies needed him out of the bullpen Friday in Boston. Dubee also liked the idea of the soft-tossing Moyer following Roy Halladay in the rotation.

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