Tag: chase utley (page 1 of 10)

Chase Utley Looks Positively FANTASTIC Aboard a Plane

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Chase Utley – looking debonair – aboard the Phillies’ charter to Colorado yesterday after their fifth-straight win, pic via Ben Revere

Holy hell. Not since Hillary Clinton took that badass and not-at-all-totally-staged photo aboard an Air Force jet has someone looked so darn good on an airplane. I don’t know many things in life, but I do know that I want to jet-set with Chase Utley. I don’t care where we go, I don’t care why– I just want him to take me to places I’ve only maybe dreamed of. #26shadesofgrey

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Chase is still batting .138.

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Chase Utley is Hitting the Ball Hard, Right into Gloves

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Utley is batting .118 this season and only .222 over the last calendar year. That’s bad. It’s also very sad. But it’s not just that he’s playing poorly. It’s also that he’s unlucky. And playing very, very poorly.

According to FiveThirtyEight, using numbers from Statcast (MLB’s ball-tracking camera system), Chase it hitting the ball hard, it’s just not resulting in hits. As Rob Arthur says, “all else being equal, pitches that are struck harder tend to become hits more often and are more likely to fall for extra-base hits.”

For Utley, however, that’s not the case.

On average, “each additional mile per hour of batted ball velocity equates to an 18-point increase in OPS (on-base plus slugging).” But Utley is bucking the trend:

batted velocity

That’s what led Arthur to call Utley the “unluckiest man in baseball.” He’s quick to point out, however, that the tech here is still young and “there are hidden problems to be worked out.” But the problem doesn’t seem to be how hard Utley is hitting the ball, it’s where it goes once it leaves his bat. So what does this all mean? “If the commentators and traditional data sources are correct, Utley is headed toward a premature retirement,” Arthur writes. “If Statcast is right, Utley has an about average bat, one that should recover.” We don’t know right now which one it is, but the Phillies are probably gonna stick with him long enough for us to figure it out.

Kyle: His BABIP (batting average on balls put in play) is insanely low – .110 – and, improbably, even lower than his average, which is .118. [This is crazy: He has so few hits that his three home runs, which, along with strikeouts obviously, aren’t counted in BABIP, represent almost 25% of his hits.] A BABIP should be around .300, which again means Utley is at least somewhat unlucky. That said, I’m a big believer that there’s been enough of a sample size here that Utley’s struggles aren’t purely due to him being unlucky. It seems like a good blending of advanced stats and the good ol’ eye test are needed here.

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Chase Utley is Having a Historically Bad Start to the Season

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I accidentally typed “Chase Utley is Having a Shitorically Bad Start.” But that also fits.

Utley is on the cusp of having the worst March/April in National League history. Of course, that’s based solely on batting average. It’s not an advanced metric, but it’s still a good way to judge a hitter’s success. Utley’s impact has been non-existent. He’s somehow found a way to notch 11 RBI while only having eight hits on the year in 70 at-bats.

We all love Chase. We do. But if you’re at a game soon (and that’s a big if) and you lay those boos down on Ryan Howard, just remember that Chase probably deserves some too. I know it’s hard, but it’s the life we live now. But maybe instead you can just yell “I DON’T BLAME YOU,” or “I’M SORRY THIS IS WHAT IT’S COME TO.”

via (@jfinger)

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Someone Made a Case for Chase Utley to Be in the Hall of Fame

Photo credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Signs your career is nearing an end: posts like this one.

Ryan Spaeder, writing for the Sporting News:

Utley has put together a career that compares favorably with the careers of most of the second basemen who have been enshrined in Cooperstown. Take a look:

—  From 2005 to 2009, Utley had five straight seasons with at least a 7.0 WAR. Every other second basemen in history with at least four total 7.0 WAR seasons is in the Hall of Fame – Jackie Robinson (4), Sandberg (4), Charlie Gehringer (5), Morgan (5), Nap Lajoie (7), Eddie Collins (8) and Rogers Hornsby (8).

—  Utley batted .301/.388/.535 during that five-year peak from 2005 to 2009. Only four other second basemen have slashed that in a season since Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947. And none of them did it twice.

— Digging even deeper into his 2005 to 2009 peak: Utley averaged a .388 on-base percentage, 73 extra-base hits and 15 stolen bases per season. Only four second basemen in history have equaled those numbers in a single season, again all Hall of Famers: Craig Biggio, Gehringer, Hornsby and Lajoie; Gehringer is the only one who did it twice.

— Utley’s peak also yielded a great deal of World Series success. He has seven career World Series home runs. Duke Snider is the only National Leaguer with more (11). In 2009, he tied Mr. October, Reggie Jackson, for most home runs in a single World Series, with five. His career .795 World Series slugging percentage ranks second best all-time among players with at least 35 plate appearances — edged only by David Ortiz, by six-ten-thousandths of a point.

That is just a sampling of all the little Chase nuggets Spaeder, who goes by Ace of MLB Stats, unearthed. There’s no doubt it will come down to a longevity thing with Chase– his four-year window is off the charts, but a somewhat late start (he wasn’t a full-time player until he was 25-26) and injuries are working, hard, against him. Still, his 2009 World Series performance is one of the greatest Philly sports things I’ve ever witnessed. If only Charlie had started Lee in Game 4…

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Please Add Mets Pitcher Matt Harvey to Your Shit Lists

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That there is Matt Harvey – following a mound visit during which Terry Collins undoubtedly told him to walk (not hit) Utley – putting one into the middle of Chase’s well-formed back, a response to David Buchanan hitting two Mets batters (and, probably, Chase taking Harvey deep in the first). I could’ve done without the stare-down from Harvey… if it didn’t lead to this piercing gaze from Chase:

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My soul, it was just touched. [UPDATE: Confirming Chase’s well-formed back.]

After the game, Chase was as cool as the other side of his pillow we all wish we shared with him:

Asked about it after the game, Harvey admitted only to being “overamped” and letting one “get away.”

“That sounds about right,” Utley said. “Getting hit by a pitch is part of the game. It’s not the first time I’ve been hit by a pitch, and it won’t be the last.”

I had somewhere to be last night and didn’t see the game, and I accidentally recorded ambient audio this morning when screen-grabbing the showdown while my buddy, on speaker, explained to me what happened. This is a portion of our exchange [the Phillies lost, in case you were wondering]: Continue reading

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Stop Me If You’ve Heard This Chase Utley News Before

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Not that anything matters, because watching baseball in Philadelphia this year is going to be akin to rooting for the red cloth in a bullfight, but it sounds like Chase Utley’s ankle injury is, you know, doing the same thing his knee injuries usually do.

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Chase Utley Opened Spring Training with an F-Bomb and an Ankle Injury

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Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 3.57.52 PM

Note to Chase: Hashtagging emojis doesn’t really work out.

Chase Utley showed up for his press conference – part of the Phillies’ annual ritual of rolling out their aged veterans to the press – at Spring Training in Clearwater today and did two things he’s good at: He cursed and he told people he was injured. Utley stepped on a baseball while fielding grounders in January and is currently still healing from the resulting ankle sprain. But his knees, which are the knees of a 75-year-old man, are doing just fine.

But it’s not just his legs that scream “old man”– it’s also his use of technology. The video after the jump, via CSN, shows Chase trying (and failing) more than once to take a panoramic shot of the assembled media on his iPhone. When he couldn’t, he let out a hearty “fuck,” before asking if they he was on live TV yet. He wasn’t, but it’s not like that mattered before. Hashtag winkyface. Still handsome, though.

Continue reading

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Chase Utley is the 8th Best 2nd Baseman and Ryan Howard has the 7th Worst Contract

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Regardless of his age, Chase Utley is still a draw. Other than checking out some of the young talent this year, many fans will head out to Citizens Bank Park so they can still watch Chase play (and Cole, which might weigh a bit on the front office when it comes to trading him away). And it’s not like he’s some sad lump of a player who can barely field a ball or swing a bat any more. He may be 36, but according to the MLB Network, he’s still a top-ten 2nd baseman.

Utley is sandwiched between Howie Kendrick and Brian Dozier on the list, which also features (in order from the top) Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, Ben Zobrist, Neil Walker, Ian Kinsler, and Jose Altuve. Utley was ranked 5th last year, but some of the guys on that list really came into their own and Chase is now a year older. The system may be flawed, and an 8th place ranking might not inspire undying love, but it’s still nice.

Elsewhere in top bottom 10 rankings, Ryan Howard’s contract was named the 7th worst in baseball by Grantland’s Jonah Keri. At this point, only being the 7th worst feels like a win, because Howard’s contract is basically two-years, $60 million at this point. Keri puts it at $60 million because “Howard will make $25 million in both 2015 and 2016, after which the Phillies will buy out his 2017 option for $10 million.” We hope it doesn’t even go that far. But here he is on the now-legendarily terrible contract:

Howard is the original cautionary tale against extending star players two years before free agency, and his contract has been a source of near-universal mockery since the day it was announced. Putting the 35-year-old former MVP up for sale is the right move for the Phillies, but it’s doubtful any team would want Howard, even if the Phils paid the bulk of his freight. At this point in his career, even calling Howard a platoon DH is probably pushing it: His numbers over the last three years look startlingly similar to Luke Scott’s, and Scott had to go to Korea to find a job.

Sure, we’ll never top the Mets and their hilarious Bobby Bonilla snafu, but when it comes to paying players while they’re playing, Ruben Amaro has built himself a legacy of spending like there’s no tomorrow and then somehow not getting fired when tomorrow comes.

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