Phillies fans will have another opportunity to give Chase Utley a standing ovation
Despite rumors he would sign with an American League club, Phillies fan favorite Chase Utley will instead return to the Los Angeles Dodgers on a one-year deal.
Utley, 38, will likely split time with the Dodgers latest trade acquisition Logan Forsyth at second base and continue to mentor Corey Seager.
Andy McCollugh was the first to report Utley returning to his hometown team.
Utley quickly became a fan favorite in Philadelphia and spent 13 seasons as the club’s starting second baseman. He’s currently second all-time in WAR by a Phillie, behind only the Hall of Famer Michael Jack Schmidt. His 1551 games played are the ninth-most in club history, and 233 home runs are good for sixth most.
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After the Phillies traded the aging Utley to Los Angeles in 2015 for minor leaguers Darnell Sweeney and John Richy, Utley has hit .242 as a Dodger. Last season he was able to play 138 games, just the second time since 2009 he’s reached that many games played thanks to a chronic knee condition.
Utley and Forsythe are likely to play in a platoon situation at second base, with each hitting from opposite sides of the plate. Forsythe, whom the Dodgers acquired less than a month ago for pitcher Jose De Leon, is a career .278 batter against lefties.
Expect Utley to play one more season for the Dodgers, especially considering the Dodgers #3 prospect Willie Calhoun expects to break the majors in 2018.
Surprisingly, the Dodgers will not play in Philadelphia until September 18 for a four-game series. Only time will tell if Utley is still active and with the club by late September, but the Philadelphia faithful will certainly turn out to see their prodigal son return.