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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Articles tagged: Chase Utley

Rich Hill learned from Dodgers teammate he was tipping pitches

Rich Hill

Los Angeles Dodgers starter Rich Hill dominated the San Francisco Giants in a must-win game on Sunday, and he may have had a teammate to partly thank.

Hill credited second baseman Chase Utley with spotting something in the pitcher’s windup that was tipping his pitches, and corrected it swiftly.

Whatever the tweak was worked. Hill threw seven scoreless innings and allowed just two hits despite getting very late notice on his start. Utley is retiring after the season, and perhaps the Dodgers will miss him more than it seems they will.

Phillies fans give Machado, Utley big ovations before game

Chase Utley boos

Philadelphia Phillies fans are notoriously tough on opponents, but they made some exceptions on Monday.

The fans in attendance at Citizens Bank Park in Philly gave ovations to Manny Machado and Chase Utley before Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The ovation for Utley was so prolonged that he had to emerge from the dugout to acknowledge the fans:

Machado didn’t get anywhere near the length of applause, but he did receive a nice ovation.

So why the applause for Machado? He will be a free agent after the season, and the fans were making their recruiting pitch. The team is said to have heavy interest in him.

As for Utley, the reasons are much more straightforward. He played for the Phillies from 2003-2015, making six All-Star teams and reaching two World Series, winning one of them. He especially showed up in the playoffs, clubbing seven homers in the two World Series.

Utley said earlier this month that he would be retiring after the season. Utley said part of the reason for his announcement was to let Phillies fans know it would be his last time playing at the park.

Chase Utley planning to retire at end of season

Chase Utley boos

Chase Utley has been nowhere near the player he was in his prime with the Philadelphia Phillies since the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired him, and the six-time All-Star has decided it will soon be time to call it a career.

Utley scheduled an unexpected press conference for Friday afternoon, and Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the 39-year-old will announce he is retiring at the end of the season.

Utley is a career .276 hitter, but he is batting just .231 with one home run and 14 RBI this season. He hit just .236 in 127 games with the Dodgers last year. Utley, who helped the Phillies win a World Series in 2008, was given one of baseball’s Silver Slugger Awards four consecutive years from 2006 through 2009.

Mets fans booing Chase Utley backfired

Chase Utley Dodgers

Chase Utley is still persona non grata with the New York Mets faithful, but booing him didn’t exactly work out in their favor this time around.

The Mets hosted the Los Angeles Dodgers for a weekend series at Citi Field, where Utley always gets heartily booed ever since his infamous takeout slide that broke Ruben Tejada’s leg in the 2015 NLDS. The veteran infielder started Saturday’s game (an 8-3 win for the Dodgers) and entered Sunday’s contest in the ninth inning as a pinch hitter, hearing the usual chorus of boos both times.

Enter Dodgers utilityman Enrique Hernandez. Sunday’s game (an 8-7 victory for the Dodgers) saw Hernandez homer twice as part of a three-hit afternoon. Afterwards, Hernandez said that he was motivated by the Mets fans’ rough treatment of Utley, according to Pedro Moura of The Athletic.

The Mets also lost the series-opener on Friday by the final of 5-2, making for a quite forgettable sweep at the hands of the visiting Dodgers. In the past, Utley himself has also turned the Mets fans’ boos into a serving of humble pie, so maybe they will rethink their approach the next time that he comes to town.

Chase Utley reportedly gets two-year deal from Dodgers

Chase Utley Dodgers

Chase Utley returning to the Los Angeles Dodgers this season is not a surprise, but what is are the reported details surrounding his contract.

Fan Rag Sports’ Jon Heyman says Utley is getting a two-year deal with the team.

Given how much Utley struggled last season — he batted .236 and went hitless in the postseason — it’s surprising to see the Dodgers give the 39-year-old a two-year deal. Perhaps the second year is a team option of sorts.

Though Utley has not yet joined the Dodgers in Arizona for spring training, there were several signs that his signing was imminent.

The Los Angeles Times’ Andy McCollough reported on Tuesday that fan mail and Utley’s cleats were set up in a locker for him at the team’s spring training facility.

Utley is viewed as a clubhouse favorite and strong leader within the team. Ace Clayton Kershaw raved about Utley.

“He might not be the player he was 10 years ago, but he’s still a very valuable asset to have,” Kershaw said Tuesday, via the LA Times. “I don’t think there’s a guy in here who wouldn’t be excited if he was around.”

Dodgers, Chase Utley reportedly in ‘serious talks’

Chase Utley Dodgers

Chase Utley may be returning to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a fourth season.

Fan Rag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported on Monday night that Utley and the Dodgers are in “serious talks” about bringing the utility man back.

Utley, 39, batted just .236 last season but had an .866 OPS as a pinch-hitter, so he could be viewed as an asset in that role. Utley appears to be well-liked by his teammates and seems to be viewed by the organization as a strong clubhouse presence. Justin Turner said last month he was hoping the team would re-sign Utley.

Justin Turner wants Chase Utley back with Dodgers

Chase Utley Dodgers

Justin Turner seems to be campaigning for another year of Chase Utley in Dodger Blue.

Turner was on AM 570 in Los Angeles on Monday and was asked about Utley returning. He said they were working on it, and then he cracked a joke about Dodgers executive Andrew Friedman.

Utley is 39 and only batted .236 last season, but clearly he is valued by his teammates. He had an .866 OPS as a pinch hitter, which is an asset, though he went 0-for-15 in the postseason.

Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi says the team continues to talk with Utley.