What Should the Phillies do with Chase Utley?
Many people have been asking the question is it time to bench Chase Utley, while its a fair question to ponder it will not happen.
After missing last nights game and likely sitting out tonight against the Braves, that would leave Utley out until Friday. Utley is just 2 for 29 (.069) on the teams current road trip and hitting just .103 with three home runs and 14 RBI during the first month of the season. Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg wants to give the struggling second baseman a mental break to try to get him back on track.
“As much effort and mental part of the game that Chase puts in every single day, I just thought it was time for a mental break for him," Sandberg said before the teams game against Atlanta on Tuesday. “Maybe that will change his fortune.”
"To give him a couple of days off here and just let him do his thing with the guys on the bench here, let him clear his head here, I think it's much need for him."
Time off could be something that works well for Utley, 36, who has played in 25 of the teams first 28 games this season. However, when he does return to the line-up Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com says it might be time to move him somewhere else in the Phillies line-up.
"Two spots that would fit much better than the three hole would be batting second or batting sixth," Seidman explained. "Utley would do better hitting second because Ben Revere is really hitting well right now (.359 over last 10 games), so is Revere is on first base, it opens up that hole for Utley, which could create some hits, which creates some confidence. But you need to move him out of the three hole, he's just not hitting in that spot."
What about trading Utley? Maybe a change of scenery might be something that helps kick-start Utley. But the question is what has this start of the season done for his trade value?
"I think it's pretty much killed it," Seidman stated on the Sports Bash. "The only teams that would be interested in Utley right now are probably looking at it right now and saying as bad as our second base have been, this guy is hitting .103."
(Listen to Corey Seidman with Mike Gill on the Sports Bash discuss Chase Utley, Darin Ruf, Chad Billingsley and more)