Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Which Chase Returns?

How good will Chase Utley be when (if?) he returns?

Which Chase Returns?

Chase Utley has played competitive baseball for just five of the last 17 months. (Yong Kim/Staff file photo)
Chase Utley has played competitive baseball for just five of the last 17 months. (Yong Kim/Staff file photo)

The question of "when" Chase Utley returns is one of the problems the 2012 Phillies are facing, but the more important question may be "which" Chase Utley returns.

His nine-season major league career to date, breaks down neatly into a trio of three-year segments. And it doesn't take much to see that his production over the last three seasons is much closer to his first three (two of which were spent as a part-time major leaguer) than the middle three seaons (2006-08), when he was among baseball superstars.

Here are how Utley's career regular season numbers break down:

        2003-05          2006-08         2009-11
Games 284 451 374
Batting Avg. .276 .310 .273
   Hits-AB 261-944 556-1795 381-1394
On-Base Pct. .350 .388 .380
   Walks 95 177 190
   Strikeouts 171 325 220
   SO Pct. .181 .181 .158
Slugging Pct. .496 .542 .465
   Total Bases 468 972 648
Home Runs 43 87 58
   HR/At-Bat .046 .048 .042
Runs Prod./Gm.*     .099 1.26 1.03
   Runs 142 348 241
   RBI 183 309 202
Bob Vetrone Jr.
About this blog

Boop – who goes by Bob Vetrone Jr. when he is undercover or paying bills – has been at the Daily News since 1982, after working for five years at the Philadelphia Bulletin up to its closing. Along with helping to build the sports scoreboards most nights, he has had great input into the papers’ special sports pullouts – March Madness, Broad Street Run, Record Breakers, Greatest Moments – as well as its day-to-day, award-winning event coverage.

A 1980 graduate of North Catholic, he took some evening college courses. Those lasted right up until the first conflict with a Big 5 doubleheader.

His favorite books growing up were the NBA Guide and the Baseball Encyclopedia, which was, for all intents and purposes, the Internet before there was an Internet.

He has been immersed in sports statistics since the early 70s, when his father (long-time sports writer, broadcaster and the Daily News’ Buck The Bartender), would take him into the Bulletin newsroom overnight in the summer and let him update the Phillies statistics in a little, black spiral notebook. But things have changed tremendously in the decades since … He now uses a big, black spiral notebook.

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Reach Bob at vetronb@phillynews.com.

Bob Vetrone Jr.
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