PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley has unofficially crossed a line from “struggling” to “lost” 5 weeks into a season. He’s attack .099 (9-for-91) and hitless in his past 19 at-bats, and manager Ryne Sandberg parked him on a dais again Saturday night opposite left-hander Jon Niese and a New York Mets.
The abyss of Utley’s slump, during age 36, stirred some Philly media outlets to transport out an engaging chronological together this week: In 1989, Phillies good Mike Schmidt was attack .203 by 42 games when he abruptly motionless to retire.
Although a comparison done for good talk-radio provender in Philadelphia, Schmidt isn’t even remotely meddlesome in going there. He told reporters before Saturday’s diversion during Citizens Bank Park that Utley still has a lot left and should spin things around soon.
“I would have never dreamed Chase could have a formula he’s had with his attack ability,” pronounced Schmidt, a special consultant and broadcaster with a Phillies. “I admire a approach he seems to have rubbed it. Every day is a new day for him — perplexing to figure out a approach to assistance a group win a ballgame. He’s a mentally tough guy.
“I don’t consider it’s time to start meditative about Chase Utley being during a finish or anything like that. we put income on him being Player of a Month subsequent [month]. It’ll spin around that fast. A integrate of blemish hits, a integrate of balls find holes, and a whole aura of a deteriorate can change.”
Sandberg also sat lefty hitters Ryan Howard and Cody Asche opposite Niese — giving a Phillies a stunningly prosy lineup for a group with a $146 million payroll. Darin Ruf, Jeff Francoeur, Cesar Hernandez and Carlos Ruiz were attack in a 3-4-5-6 spots in a sequence Saturday night.
Utley’s new travails are some-more shocking given his problems during a finish of final season. He strike .355 in Apr 2014, though his prolongation continued to drop any month, and he batted .235 with a .350 slugging commission after a All-Star break.
Money is also a poignant cause in any review about Utley’s destiny with a Phillies. He’s on a two-year agreement prolongation that includes a $15 million choice for 2016 that vests if he reaches 500 image appearances this season. He has identical vesting options for 2017 and 2018.
Schmidt was 39 years aged entrance off shoulder medicine and personification for distant reduction income when he motionless to travel divided in 1989. So if there’s a together to be drawn between him and Utley, someone else will have to make it.
“I don’t see any reason to even consider in those terms,” Schmidt said. “Count me out of that conversation.”