Are Chase Utley and Ryan Howard at the End of the Road?
"He certainly looks a lot slower than he has in the past." Phillies insider Todd Zolecki of MLB.com said on the Sports Bash Tuesday. "He's definitely not the player he once was."
Utley started the 2015 season just 2-for-22 with no extra-base hits to start the regular season before busting out a 3-for-3 with a pair of home runs, three RBI and a stolen base in a 6-5 loss to the Mets.
The home runs tonight were his first two since Aug. 10 of last season, a span of 175 at-bats.
"I don't know if I can say just yet that he's finished or done, I need to give him a little bit more time," Zolecki stated.
Utley could be attainable if teams are willing to take on his full salary, but he would have to approve any deal the Phillies would make with 10-and-5 rights. Back in spring training, Utley said that while he wants to stay with the Phillies, he would have to listen if the club ever came to him about a possible trade.
"I think if they could trade him today for something they like they would do it," Zolecki said. "Now Chase has to agree to that, but I really firmly believe if they could get a good deal for Chase Utley today that they would try very very hard to convince Chase to go somewhere else and play baseball."
Ryan Howard has won an NL MVP award, he was the NL Rookie of the year, once hit 58 home runs in a season and drove in 149 runs. However, since tearing his Achilles follow the series finale against the Cardinals in the 2012 league championship season.
"Ryan Howard's numbers have been way, way, way on the decline over the past few years," Zolecki explained. "He hasn't looked good during the first week of the season or in spring training for that matter."
Today on the Sports Bash I discussed Utley and Howard, along with some other Phillies stories that have emerged with Phillies insider Todd Zolecki of MLB.com