Back in 2008, the Philadelphia Phillies won a World Series with Jimmy Rollins at shortstop and Chase Utley manning second base. Fast forward seven years and now the Los Angeles Dodgers are hoping to recapture some of that magic as they have acquired Utley to play 2nd base and team him with Rollins on the Dodger infield.
The team does have a regular 2nd baseman in Howie Kendrick, but a strained hammy has put him on the shelf for a little bit, and Utley is the perfect fill in. Not only that, but when Kendrick does come back, the Dodgers will have the luxury of being able to call upon Utley to fill in multiple rolls.
The question is how much good can Utley do for this team? Well, Utley is a Southern California guy, growing up in Long Beach and attending UCLA, and he has always hit well at Dodger Stadium. Now the boys in blue are hoping that he can do it for them instead of against them.
His addition is much needed as the team is slumping a bit and still trying to fend off the challenge from the San Francisco Giants, who are hot on their heels. The starting pitching (Especially Grienke, Kershaw and even Brett Anderson) has been very good, but the offense and bullpen have been sore spots all season.
While Utley can’t help out the arms in the pen, he will add a much needed bat to this team, which will help extend the line-up. The Dodgers know he will not shrink from the spotlight as he has excelled in post-season play with 10 HR and 25 RBI. Will he be a big enough boost now to help them reach that goal? Well he certainly can’t hurt. His addition is especially welcomed by shortstop Jimmy Rollins who said of Utley …
“I think it’d be a lot of fun. One, that was his team. He went to school over at UCLA, plays well over at Dodger Stadium. Actually, beats up the Dodgers wearing a Phillies uniform. If everything goes through and he’s here, it’d be nice to see him playing some home games there at a place he’s comfortable hitting.”
There is still 6 weeks or so left in the season, if he makes a difference, the Dodger brain trust will look like geniuses. Of course, if the experiment fails it only really cost the Dodgers money, and we all know that they basically print that. So I guess, in LA it really has become a Chase for the pennant.