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Philadelphia Phillies MLB News - Phillies Baseball Blog » The Philadelphia Phillies need a healthy Chase Utley for 2009

The Philadelphia Phillies need a healthy Chase Utley for 2009

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Sunday 1 March 2009 at 8:47 pm

30-year old lefty swinging Chase Utley had hip surgery in the off season but he’s way ahead of schedule in his rehab. He’s hoping to be ready for Opening Day and the defending World Champs really need him. He played in 159 games for the Phillies last season and he was 177 for 607 (.292 avg, .915 OPS) with 113 runs scored, 33 homers, 104 RBIs and 14 stolen bases. Utley has good range at 2B but he made 13 errors in 159 games at 2B last season. Still, Utley is one of the best all around players in the N.L. and the Phillies can’t afford to be without him for any period of time.

30-year old righty swinging Eric Bruntlett will battle for a reserve job this spring. He played in 120 games for the Phillies last season and he was 46 for 212 (.217 avg, .594 OPS) with 37 runs scored, 2 homers, 15 RBIs and 9 stolen bases. Bruntlett only played 5 games at 2B for the Phillies last season and he made one error there while showing poor range.

34-year old righty swinging Pablo Ozuna was signed as a minor league free agent over the winter. He played in 68 games for the White Sox & Dodgers last season and he was 25 for 96 (.260 avg, .634 OPS) with 11 runs scored, 1 homer, 9 RBIs and a stolen base. Ozuna can handle 3B and the outfield on defense but he’s a natural 2B. He played in 37 games there last season and he only made 1 error while showing average range.

34-year old righty swinging Miguel Cairo also was signed over the winter to compete for a bench job in 2009. He played in 108 games for the Mariners last season and he was 55 for 221 (.249 avg, .646 OPS) with 34 runs scored, 23 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Cairo only played in 5 games at 2B for the Mariners last season but he didn’t make an error while showing outstanding range.

30-year old righty swinging Marcus Giles is also in camp trying to revive his major league career. He was last in the majors in 2007 with the San Diego Padres and he didn’t play too good for them that season. Giles has played in 792 games in his major league career to date and his batting average is .277 with a .782 OPS.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: A

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