Should the Philadelphia Phillies make a change on their bench in 2018?
For a franchise in the midst of constant change one of the few constants has been the veteran utility fielder Andres Blanco. Playing six separate positions, including pitcher, for Philadelphia since 2014 Blanco has played a small, yet critical, role on the team.
Now at the age of 33 Blanco is in danger of hitting below .200 for the first time in his 10 year major league career. Might it be time to replace the pending free agent and get a new veteran voice in the locker room?
Few players have as much experience across the infield as Blanco in recent years. The closest would be Darwin Barney, the winner of the 2012 second base Gold Glove for the Cubs. Barney has played just as many positions as Blanco.
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Former A’s first-round pick Cliff Pennington will also be available with experience at three of the four infield positions. He adds a switch-hitter to the bench, something the Phillies aren’t projected to have other than catcher Andrew Knapp.
The final intriguing option could be the legend Chase Utley, who has played 97% of his major league plays at second base. His lack of diversity in the field, at least historically, would be concerning if the Phils were looking for a player like Blanco who can play anywhere you play him.
Utley certainly still has the glove to play second, and the Dodgers gave him a chance to play third at one point.
If the team is just looking for a veteran to coach their top prospect Scott Kingery and provide leadership, Utley could be, as always, the man.