Chase Utley, who has been plugged in as the Philadelphia Phillies’ second baseman for most of the past nine seasons, could move to third base before the season is over, CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler reported Monday. If not by the end of this year, Knobler reported that there’s a “real possibility” Utley’s move will happen next season.
From Knobler’s report:
Utley continues to work out at third, and while it’s not a certainty that he’ll be playing there next year, it’s more and more becoming a real possibility.
He may even play there this season, but general manager Ruben Amaro and manager Charlie Manuel both suggested Monday that won’t happen until the Phillies give up on this last-gasp run at a wild-card spot.
“Only if he feels comfortable there, and likely only if we’re out of the race,” Amaro said.
For the Phillies, the rationale in moving Utley is that playing Freddy Galvis at second base would give them a better overall defensive infield. They also figure that it will be easier to add an outfielder in the offseason to boost their offense than a third baseman, Knobler reported.
The Phillies are hesitant, though, to move Utley while they still have any hope of making the playoffs. Right now, Philadelphia sits four games back of the St. Louis Cardinals for the second wild-card spot in the National League. The Phillies would have to leapfrog three other teams in addition to the Cardinals to earn the spot.