The 2013 Major League Baseball season is going to be one that is very important for one member of the Philadelphia Phillies. That would be Chase Utley, who has battled injuries for the last three seasons and seen his production decline along the way. Utley is in the final year of his contract this season and if Utley wants to garner another big deal, he is going to need to stay healthy for the entire 2013 campaign.
Utley was the most dominant second baseman in baseball for five straight years from 2005-09 and was feared like no other during that time. Utley has played in just 301 games over the last three years though and hasn’t even come close to the same offensive numbers. If Utley wants to remain in Philadelphia or moves on at age 34, Utley must come close to the numbers he had a few years ago.
Utley is going to have competition at second base with the addition of Michael Young, who is expected to start at third base but has played all over the infield. I think the only way Utley gets another big deal is for him to hit between 25-30 home runs with 90-95 RBIs. There is not as much firepower in the Philadelphia lineup these days with Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard taking up most of the offensive numbers besides Utley so he must have a big season. Young will do a lot to help this team but this is a make or break season for Utley. Utley will need to prove he can make it through an entire season healthy again.