Friday, March 30, 2012

Utley on the half shell

Sign seen outside Delaware County, PA sporting goods store yesterday:

                                                            All Utley half off

Which makes me think of a few whimsical notions of what that sign could portend. Is Chase half the man he used to be? Half the player? Has his enormous fan base lost half its interest in him? (He does have one apparently good knee, so, you could call say half of his allotment of his legs are functional at present).

Anyway, I doubt the answer to the first question is yes-Chase is a nice guy, if a bit overly secretive. But the answer to the second question looks like a sure "yes"-his WAR last year was 3.6, almost exactly half his 2009 peak WAR of 7.3. That '09 figure is HOF-pace, but even half of it is a damned good number. Freddie Galvis won't give the Phils that, assuming the team doesn't make a move for another second baseman.

Speaking of going halfsies: I wish the team had moved Utley from second to first a few years ago, as it seemed to be toying with doing (Chase occasionally used to fill in there.) That might've preserved his health, and the club could've moved the now falling-fast Ryan Howard at peak value, and avoided signing Ryan to that albatross of a long-term deal.