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Ruben Amaro is Entertaining This Whole Chase Utley Playing Third Thing

Kyle Scott - September 6, 2012

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Photo courtesy St. Pete Beach Photo

Oh, so this might actually be happening.

Last week, interwebers went crazy when news broke that Chase Utley was taking grounders at third base. He did it again on Tuesday. Other than some quotes from infield coach Sam Perlozzo, though, no one from the Phillies talked about how plausible it would be for Utley to be the Phillies’ future third baseman. He played 123 games there in AAA in 2002, and had the lowest fielding percentage of his professional career– .918 (next lowest is .970). But today, in an exclusive interview with CSN’s Jim Salisbury, Ruben Amaro was surprisingly candid. And probably smug.

Will your 2013 third baseman come from outside the organization?
Unless we feel Chase is a viable possibility there, and we’re exploring it.
What do you have to see before you think he could be a viable possibility? Don’t you have to see him in a game or two before this season is over, or send him to Instructional League?
Maybe. That’s really up to Chase. I don’t think we would send him to Instructional League. A lot of it depends on how he continues to progress as he takes ground balls, how he feels, and how comfortable or uncomfortable he is.

Is it possible he comes to you, say on Sept. 21, and says, “Let’s give it a try?”
Very possible. And I may go to him and say the same thing. Of course, I don’t want to put Chase, and I don’t think it’s fair to him – we don’t want to have people put in positions to fail. We want to put people in positions to succeed. That should be our business.

And succeed?
I do believe so. If he’s committed and feels comfortable doing it, I have to give him the benefit of the doubt based on his athleticism and makeup.
If he could do it …
It would be excellent. But I can’t sit here today and say he’s going to be our third baseman next year. That’s not fair to Chase.


The fact that Ruben even approached that possibility is fairly astonishing. It makes it less of a pipe dream and more of an option. Not sure it’s going to work, though. Chase’s strength as a fielder has always been his range and ability to make somewhat spectacular plays when given an extra bounce to track down a ball. But his arm strength has always been below average, and then there was that whole 2009 NLCS throwing accuracy thing. 

It would be asking a lot of a guy to switch positions at this point in his career. Chase is a slightly different specimen, however, and probably has enough will power to not be terrible playing third. But would it work in the long-term? I asked Chase for his thoughts. He just shrugged…

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Chase Utley Taking Grounders at Third Base, Could Be Option In The Future

Ryan Gillon - August 29, 2012



UPDATE – 4:12 PM: Jim Salisbury tweeted this after speaking to Chase Utley.


Take it how you will, but this gem came across live on the air minutes ago and was tweeted by SportsRadio 94 WIP's official Twitter account.


UPDATE: @WIPAfternoons tweeted a photo to prove it… a bit grainy, but nonetheless:

Let’s Talk about Jimmy Rollins’ Half-Assed Effort Yesterday (Video and Twitter Reactions, Too)

Kyle Scott - August 16, 2012

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Yeah, let’s. 

To be honest, I didn’t see it live yesterday when Jimmy Rollins grounded out weakly to Jose Reyes in the sixth inning of the Phillies-Marlins game. I used to use this whole work for yourself thing as an excuse to watch day games. But not anymore. I’d rather spend the time writing a blog post or creating an invoice. You know, trying to make money or something.  

Anyway, I imagine most of you have joined me on this boat. Part of the reason is because the Phillies are very bad this year and, after watching five straight years (hell, 10) of highly-competitive baseball, seeing this slop product is a real letdown. The other part is that most of the Phillies look like they don’t give a shit. Players who were once young and hungry, that usually played a brand of baseball worth emulating, have now gone the way of so many high-paid athletes before them– through the motions.

Enter J-Roll™.

My Dad has always loved Rollins. Loved his speed. Loved his defense. Loved the fact that he often stepped up when the lights were brightest. I’ve fought my Dad on this point, citing the fact that Rollins often has a misguided approach at the plate, is stubborn, often too outspoken and, even after being benched a few years back for not running out a groundball, still gives less than 100% effort on his treks to first base. We’ll disagree on those points for the rest of time… but at least I now have a new card to play.

As most of you are aware by now, in the sixth inning yesterday, Rollins grounded to Reyes (who was playing back and not in great position to make a play on a speedy runner) and lazily jogged (even that might be too strong a term) down to first.

As you can see after the jump, J-Roll™ heard about it on his Twitter after the game [includes video of the play, with six different broadcasters having a problem with Rollins’ effort]. Step over with me.

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Phillies First Baseman Jim Thome Hasn’t Traveled With a Glove in Five Years

Kyle Scott - March 12, 2012

Video via David Hale of the Wilmington News Journal

I don’t know why, but I’m getting more ansty about the 2012 season each day.

Chase Utley’s knee may have fallen off. Ryan Howard experienced a setback. And the man who will spend time filling in for The Big Piece, Gentleman Jim Thome, hasn’t traveled with a baseball glove for the past, oh, half a decade.

Speaking to reporters today following a few innings at first base during a minor league game, Thome was asked if he even carried a glove during his time as a DH in the American League:

"I didn’t. No. No. No, because I was always told I was just the DH. Not that I wouldn’t have went out and done it, I just never have done it." 

Did the Phillies need to order you some?

"I had a bunch of [gloves] still left, so…"



Thome fielded a chopper cleanly, but fell over like an awkward puppy pawing at a beach ball on the lone ground ball that was sent his way (:40 mark).

He played one game at first base with the White Sox in 2007, and three games in 2006.

Thankfully, we have a long way to go before the season starts.

Phillies’ Top Scout Following Michael Young, Utley Says He Feels No Pain Taking BP

Ryan Gillon - March 9, 2011


Apparently, Ruben may not be done kicking those tires…

…but don't hold your breath.

The news was broken by Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman, as you can see below:


Reading this shouldn't exactly tell you that the Phillies are going after Michael Young. The biggest road block involving a potential acquisition of the disgruntled Rangers star is obviously money, as Young is about to enter the third year of a five-year, $80 million extension. The dude is expensive.

What it should tell you is that the injury to Chase Utley is potentially serious enough to entertain the thought of Young. Generally, it should tell you that the team is at least lightly considering some type of insurance policy outside their current roster if Utley remains on the shelf for an extended period of time.

Ryan Lawrence of the DelCo Times has another name in mind if Utley needs replacin'.

If the Phillies were searching for an upgrade on the outside, a better name might be University of Penn product Mark DeRosa. Capable of playing second base, third base and left field, DeRosa could be fighting for regular playing time in a crowded outfield in San Francisco and the Phils have had interest in him before.

DeRosa, who is owed $6 million this season, is a free agent after the season. But before you begin scouring the trade rumor mills for other trendy names, remember that it was Wilson Valdez, and not a flashier name, that ended up playing in place of Jimmy Rollins for most of 2010.

DeRosa is certainly more affordable, that's for sure. And with his contract up at the end of this season, he doesn't carry the extra baggage that Young does.

However, we should remember all in all that Chase is not dead. He did speak with reporters today and said that he feels no pain when taking batting practice. He was also asked about his return… there's a shocker.

Via David Hale of Philled In:

“I’m doing everything I can to try to get back on the field, but there is no timetable,” he said. “We’re not going to look for the short-term solution. I want to be smart about this and realize I have three years left on this contract to fulfill.”

Utley is here for a while, which is maybe another why the Phillies should go after a grizzled vet with an expiring contract. Lawrence may just be on to something.

Speaking of Lawrence, he took video of Utley today as he spoke. You can check that out after the jump.

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Roy Halladay History is Made

Kyle Scott - June 3, 2010

Thanks to reader Peter Hyndman for sending along this little slice of awesome.

A take off the NHL's History is Made commercial for Roy Halladay's Perfect Game.  I suppose "What if Jim Joyce umped this game?" would work too…