Over at the Philly Voice, Matt Mullin wrote a piece about the emergence of Cesar Hernandez at second-base in the absence of injured Chase Utley, and whether Utley should get his job back when he returns. I find it hard to believe (even thought Chase has a piece of all of our hearts) that there’s anyone out there who thinks this is Chase’s job and Hernandez is just holding it for him. Especially since every plate appearance brings Utley closer to a $15 million payday next year. But the most important part of Mullin’s piece is this quote from the mouth area of the fleshy vessel containing the thoughts and emotions of interim manager Peter Mackanin:
“[Hernandez’s recent play] just goes to show you, when you’re looking at players, and you see part-time players that are not doing as well as you’d like them to do, well, you can see now the benefit of playing on a daily basis, how a player can be a whole different player. Cesar has been fantastic, and this is the kind of thing we’re all excited about, because we knew he had it in him.”
“It’s been a long process. He’s been a young guy coming up and we kind of wrestled with the fact of even having him on the bench as a part-time player because we knew he could develop if he played. But unfortunately we couldn’t do that. Now that we can do it, we’re pretty excited. I, for one, am thrilled about it. I think he’s making a good statement for himself in the future.”
“I would like to think that Cesar has proven that he deserves a chance to be the everyday second baseman. That remains to be seen … I don’t know. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Let’s just wait to see when Chase is healthy and how he feels. We’ll go from there.”
Other than that quick walk-back at the end, this is remarkable. Having someone in charge (for now) admit that the Phillies might be better off without Chase Utley in the lineup? Unheard of.
New guy Andy MacPhail may only be “listening” and by-gollying his way around the clubhouse, but this may become the first page-turn of the unfortunately named MacPhail era.*
*The MacPhailure Years is probably the leading candidate if this all goes south, right?