Phillies fans should stop dreaming about The Man returning
Phillies fans, including yours truly, were clamoring for Chase Utley to return to the team as either the bench coach or a veteran player coming off the bench. Rob Thompson’s hiring as bench coach eliminated the thought of Utley being on the coaching staff, but there was hope he’d return as a player to lead a young team.
According to MLB.com Phillies insider Todd Zolecki, neither of those hopes were likely to come true.
Zolecki says there’s a “0-1” out of 10 chance Utley returns to Philadelphia for the 2018 season. He also notes that the reports of Utley being a candidate for the bench coach job were exaggerated and were never a reality.
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Utley would make perfect sense for Philadelphia as a player coach for one of the youngest teams in baseball. Manager Gabe Kapler stated at his introductory press conference he wants his players to model their approach like Utley, whom he worked with as the Dodgers Director of Player Development.
Zolecki also notes Utley is more likely to stay on the west coast, probably with the Dodgers, before retiring. Utley turned 39-years-old last week and enters his 16th season as a professional having played for only two teams.
Last year in his third season with the Dodgers Utley hit .236 with eight home runs and 73 hits in 127 games. He’ll likely find a bench job this offseason after being a major piece in the Dodgers locker room during their World Series run last year.