With the Phillies in Los Angeles this week to take on the Dodgers, the team’s long-time second baseman, one of the greatest players in franchise history, Chase Utley, will face the Phils for the first time since he was traded one year ago.
I know. All the feelings, right?
Utley has done pretty well for Los Angeles this year, batting .250 with a .327 on-base percentage and an fWAR of 1.4. That’s a far cry from the .212/.286/.343 slash line and 0.0 fWAR he put up last year.
If you haven’t stayed up late at all to watch him, he’s still doing things like this.
Phillies fans aren’t the only ones having lots of sentimental feelings about Chase’s time with the Phils. Per the PhillyVoice’s Ryan Lawrence from back in May, Chase has the feelings too, when asked what he misses most about playing in Philadelphia.
Playing in a beautiful park. Playing in front of the most passionate fans in baseball. How can you beat that?
If you have time, it’s worth re-reading Ryan’s piece from November. There’s lots more like that.
Utley has slowed down after a hot start. He batted .263/.346/.377 with a .723 OPS in the first half of the season, but is hitting .190/.239/.349 with a .588 OPS since the All Star break.
Nevertheless, as you can see from the plays above, he’s still got it defensively, with defensive metrics noting he is a bit above average at second base this year. Not bad for a 37-year-old dude wrapping up his career.
Of course, the real emotions are going to kick in when Chase comes back to Citizens Bank Park next week. You can bet it will be special.
This week, it’ll be special for his former teammates, coaches and team officials who will be on hand for a reunion of sorts.
And for Phils fans, even though it’s late at night, Chase Utley will be back on our TVs for the next three days.
That’s never a bad thing.