Ruben Amaro: “Cesar Hernandez is Our Best Second Baseman”
We may have seen the end of another era of Phillies baseball.
During the offseason the Phillies traded away the first piece of the Phillies longtime core when they traded away shortstop Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers, now Chase Utley's time in Philly could be coming to an end soon.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro indicated on Tuesday that Cesar Hernandez will remain the club's second baseman even after Chase Utley returns from the disabled list.
Amaro was asked by reporters in Los Angels before tonight's game with the Dodgers if Utley will regain his starting spot when he is ready to return and if the best second baseman on the team.
“Not for me he’s not," Amaro admitted. "Cesar Hernandez is our best second baseman. I would assume that Cesar would be our second baseman. I think that’s fair.”
While you could argue that the Phillies could be sitting Utley because of his $15MM vesting option that will trigger if he gets 500 plate appearances. Currently he has 249 plate appearances, there is a chance that Utley could have reach 500 plate appearances if he made a late July return and had everyday at-bats.
Cesar Hernandez who is playing great baseball in Utley's absence, hitting .302 with a homer and a perfect 12-for-12 in stolen base chances may have just taken the job away from Utley with his play on the field. The 25-year old was once a hot name in the Phillies organization, but was miscast as a utility man, playing third base, center field, everywhere but his natural position - second base.
That's because Chase Utley was always there - with him out, Hernandez has thrived and maybe even ended an era.