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Chase Utley

SPORTS
October 15, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
THERE IS a glaring flaw in the logic that the Phillies must "get younger. " The four most productive hitters in the lineup in 2014 were also the four oldest. Marlon Byrd, who turned 37 on Aug. 30, led the team in OPS (.757), OPS+ (110), home runs (25) and slugging percentage (.445). Chase Utley, who turns 36 on Dec. 17, finished second in OPS, OPS+, on-base and slugging percentage (.746, 109, .339 and .407). Carlos Ruiz, who turns 36 on Jan. 22, finished third in OPS and OPS+ (.717 and 102)
SPORTS
September 30, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
THE FIRST MAN to exit did so on a late July night. One could argue he was the same batting coach who helped give the Phillies the most successful offensive period they'd ever had: the most runs in the National League in 2006 and 2007. A World Series title in 2008. But on July 22, 2010, after an offseason in which they traded for Roy Halladay and traded away Cliff Lee and signed Danys Baez to a 2-year deal, the Phillies were a mere three games over .500 while averaging 4.6 runs per game.
SPORTS
September 29, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
The sort of history these Phillies accomplished fit all of the preseason stereotypes. No team until the 2014 Phillies ever boasted four 34-or-older players with 600 plate appearances. The geriatric jokes dogged them through the spring, and when the season ends Sunday, one of the lasting images will be how the veterans sputtered to the conclusion. Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Marlon Byrd are not to blame for the franchise's failures. But it is reasonable to wonder if all four will return in 2015.
SPORTS
September 26, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
MIAMI - Jimmy Rollins pulled on his gray pants, donned a red Phillies long-sleeved shirt, and took his place at shortstop during batting practice Wednesday. He did not play for a 15th straight game, and his season is likely over because of a strained left hamstring. Rollins was asked whether risking a further injury in the final weekend was worth it. "Would it be wise?" he said. "It would not be wise. " In the end, prudence will prevail. The Phillies have no incentive to play Rollins.
SPORTS
September 19, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
SAN DIEGO - The Phillies have spent six days in the last two seasons over .500, a status that reinforces that the franchise's current problems extend well beyond one player. The numbers tell a narrative, as do the eyes. "Really," Ryne Sandberg said, "spending a whole year with a team, you get a real good feel on the guys who have been here. " Sandberg sees a need for better starting pitching. He wants improved defense. And, for the middle of his lineup, he craves a consistent contact presence to alleviate the bundles of men left on base.
SPORTS
September 19, 2014 | BY DAVID MURPHY, Daily News Staff Writer dmurphy@phillynews.com
SAN DIEGO - The strongest reason you shouldn't get your hopes up about Yasmani Tomas is the self-evident one: The long list of attributes that would make Tomas an ideal fit for the Phillies' lineup are the same attributes that would make him an ideal fit for just about every major league lineup, and the same motivation the Phillies have to pursue the Cuban slugger aggressively is shared with the rest of the teams that will pursue him. Twenty-three-year...
SPORTS
September 15, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Phillies have an imperfect roster, which could lead to compromise for the 2015 season. But it is impossible to predict those decisions for various reasons. There is muddled leadership atop the organization; the team's convoluted public plan changes by the month; and the rest of baseball declared the Phillies' current assets either overvalued or inadequate. A discussion at the micro level - like how the Phillies could best utilize some of the flawed pieces they possess - is incomplete without the macro strategy.
SPORTS
September 13, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
It is unfair to blame one Phillies hitter for another lame night, because Pirates lefthander Francisco Liriano was that dominant Thursday in a 4-1 win. He struck out 10 batters on his first 75 pitches. He completed eight innings without permitting a runner to reach third base. But it is difficult to ignore one slumping Phillie, Ryan Howard. He walked twice and struck out two more times Thursday to make it 15 whiffs in 32 at-bats so far this September. He has one extra-base hit this month.
SPORTS
September 12, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Columnist
CHASE UTLEY'S name was missing from the lineup yesterday, the fourth time in 15 games that had been the case. At 35, the six-time All-Star and four-time Silver Slugger award winner is still among the most productive players at his position. On the list of issues that the Phillies must address this offseason, Utley's name is near the bottom. Yet there are plenty of reasons to think that the club should take a hard look at second base this offseason as it searches for ways to maximize its roster for 2015.
SPORTS
September 11, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ryne Sandberg once spent a September as a Phillies call-up. It was 1981. He turned 22 while in the majors, a debut that encompassed 13 games for a middling team. "One start," Sandberg said Tuesday before a 4-3 Phillies win over Pittsburgh, and the Hall of Fame second baseman is excused 33 years later for misremembering. The Phillies never started Sandberg. He batted six times, collected one hit, and savored the brief experience of playing alongside Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose, and Larry Bowa.
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