It’s Official: Amaro Says Chase Utley Will Begin the Season on the DL

 Well, here's a shocker…as per ESPN's Jayson Stark.

Stark

 The only question now is for how long.

I know I've been knocked for worrying too much about this specific injury, but why shouldn't I be? We lost our guy in the five-hole to the Nats who, despite what you think of him now, was great protection for Ryan Howard in the clean-up. Now, the guy we had preceding him in the lineup could be out anywhere from the next month to the end of the season.

You can only ride these four starters for so long before the issues on the offensive side begin to surmount. I like Wilson Valdez and what he was able to do as a plug-in for an injured offense. I understand and appreciate that the Phillies won 97 games in a year that saw way too many guys get hurt. I hear the argument that the Giants were able to win the World Series last year with great pitching and a subpar lineup…

…but every year is different, for better and for worse. Our healthiest hitter last year is in a different uniform. We don't know what we're going to see from Jimmy Rollins in his contract year. Dom Brown is hurt (and he wasn't impressive before he got injured), Polly isn't in the lineup again today. There is reason to worry.

I'm not losing my mind or pulling my hair out of my head, but I am trying to keep my head out of the clouds every time I hear "R2C2" or the "Four Aces". There are other components on this team that need to be looked at and anaylyzed realistically.

As it stands now, this offense is in trouble. That's the reality. Things may change and players may step up (Ben Francisco looks great this Spring), but you have to go with what you know right now.

It may come off as complaining or whining, but that's not the intent. It's just early season concern for my baseball team. Criticize or analyze however you wish.

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8 Responses

  1. I have a feeling we’re gonna come through come the middle of the season. We’ll have these problems in the beginning, everyone will worry, then we’ll bust through and take down all in our path.

  2. I would agree that there is considerable cause for concern regarding the offense as spring training winds down, and that’s not counting the sizeable question mark that wears #54 at the end of the bullpen. And yeah, great starting pitching can only take a team so far, despite what the Giants did last season, bottom line, you HAVE to hit, and his consistently in order to support that pitching, and right now, I’m not sure the Phils can get the job done. But, for right now, all we can do is sit back and see what happens once the season gets underway.

  3. I hear you Kyle, and it is tough to brush aside the fact that we’re missing some serious middle of the lineup production, but don’t forget who our GM is. We have some chips to trade (Blanton, Kendrick, Brown, lower level talent). So Don’t be surprised to see RAJ make a move or two if this team is struggling heading in to mid June or so.

  4. I agree with Adam. Ruben is putting up this front about the payroll being stretched thin but you know damn well that if this team is still struggling with the bats come deadline time he’s going to wheel and deal.
    Something that I think is being overlooked for those people in the camp of “four aces, nothing else matters” is the effect the bats are going to have on the arms. This offense isn’t going to build up 6-0 leads for the late innings therefore the starters will have to stay in longer out of necessity to win a ballgame 2-1 or 3-2. The domino effect of having very little offense is ugly. The Giants looked great for the most important 11 games of the season last year…the playoffs. They basically backed their way in because of a Padres collapse.

  5. Yes, it’s concerning. But you also have to sit back and evaluate, realistically, the task ahead of the Phillies.
    The National League East is not to be confused with the American League East or the NL Central. The Mets, Nats, Marlins are not serious contenders for the division, and the Braves are still a year or two away from being legit contenders. Not to mention the wildcard of a new manager they have. The Phillies “Should” win this division comfortably, with, or without Utley.
    Throw in the “it’s all relative” theory that every other team in the National League is going to have injuries and question marks yet nobody else has the front four (knock on wood they stay healthy) this team does to overcompensate for said injuries and bumps along the way.
    Finally, I think big Rube has earned the phaith (get it?) and trust of everyone in this town that come July, if this offense is struggling, that he is going to go out and get the best bat available.
    So, yes, be concerned for Chase’s well being, but lets not completely write a season off because we might be without him for a signifigant while.

  6. Well, I for one am not going to take anything for granted regarding NL East as I think the Braves can cause headaches for the Phils THIS season. Atlanta has a damn solid rotation, talented kids in Jason Heyward and rookie first baseman Freddie Freeman and proven vets in Chipper Jones and Dan Uggla. Call me paranoid, but I’m not going to just dismiss the Braves as being “a year or two away”. Meanwhile, does Ruben have a move left in his holster that won’t seriously affect the core of the team or the farm system should the offense falter without Utley? I certainly hope he does.

  7. @Flash…Ruben won’t be disrupting the core. He’ll have to part with lower level talent and possibly an arm like Blanton provided the other 4 guys in the rotation are healthy. And said “core” is getting up in age and I would think most teams would want to steer clear of them and their contracts.

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