Chase Utley has only played in 44 of the Philadelphia Phillies‘ 73 games this season, but folks in the city of Brotherly Love have grown accustomed to not playing with the five-time All-Star second baseman. With that being said, Philadelphia needs to have Utley on the field long enough to see what in fact they have on its roster and as of June 21st Utley is off of the disabled list — for now.
All year, the Phillies have teetered between being playoff contenders and a team that should just trade away valued players like Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon. If Utley can finally return to the MLB MVP candidate that he was in 2009, then Philadelphia GM Ruben Amaro Jr. will have to think twice about overhauling the roster. At the same token, if Utley returns and is ineffective then we could see the aforementioned trade rumors turn into a reality.
Once cornerstones, Ryan Howard and Utley have disappointed the entire state of Pennsylvania as the only phrase used to describe the two of them is injury prone.
While he entered the 2013 season healthy, the Phillies’ second baseman has nearly missed more games than he has actually played in the last calendar year. A month away from the big-league diamond could have done Utley some good, but after going hitless in nine at-bats over two rehab games it appears it’s going to be an uphill battle for No. 26.
However, when the New York Mets come to town on Friday night, the Phillies’ faithful will welcome Utley back with open arms considering the Phillies’ second basemen hit .179 in Utley’s absence and amounted just one extra-base hit over a 28-game span.