Chase Going Home
The demolition ball struck again. This time Chase is the one to go. He’s reuniting with his longtime shortstop partner, J-Roll, with the Dodgers. We now have a Los Angeles Chapter of the Phillies Alumni as Shane is also playing in LA with the Angels
Chase had 1,623 hits in 1,551 games wearing a Phillies uniform. J-Roll, 2,306 hits in 2,090 games. Each played 46 games in 10 postseason series. Jimmy had more hits, 47-43. They are the greatest double play combination ever for the Phillies. J-Roll had 2,058 games at short and Chase 1,453 on the other side of the infield. Each played in two World Series and now have a chance for another.
Of course, Chase had that historic World Series in 2009, hitting five home runs, including two, two-homer games. His first World Series at-bat in 2008? A home run.
His first hit in the major leagues? A grand slam. Last walk-off hit in history of Veterans Stadium: Chase. Last batter at the Vet? Chase.
A six-time All-Star, his career was hampered by knee and ankle injuries the last five years. But, it never deterred from his preparation or busting it at all times on the field. He is the ultimate example of how to play the game.
Chase Utley was born and raised in the Los Angeles. He went to high school there and college at UCLA. Once a Dodgers fan as a kid, he was drafted by them in the second round in 1967 following high school. He chose UCLA and was selected by the Phillies in the first round three years later. He now returns home where he has a .320 lifetime average at Dodger Stadium.
Chase is one of the most popular athletes to play in this city. Some day he will return to Citizens Bank Park to be inducted into the Wall of Fame. That’ll be goosebump city.
As Harry Kalas once proclaimed, “Chase Utley….you ARE the man!”
INF-OF Darnell Sweeney is a 24-year-old switch-hitter who is ranked as the Dodgers’ 13th top prospect by the MiLB Pipeline. Playing at AAA Oklahoma City, he’s hitting .271 and leading the Pacific Coast League with 32 steals. He leads OC with 69 runs, 30 doubles, 4 triples, 42 walks and 116 strikeouts. AA All-Star last year and same honor in AAA this season. Led the Southern League in runs (88) and walks (77) a year ago. Originally a shortstop, he moved to second base last year and centerfield this year. A lead-off hitter at OC, he played center field on Tuesday and third base on Monday. He was scratched from the lineup Wednesday night. He was LA’s 13th round draft pick in 2012 out of the University of Central Florida. He will take Chase’s place on the roster and join the Phillies in Miami in time for Thursday’s night game.
RHP John Richy, 10-5 with a 4.20 ERA at Hi-A Rancho Cucamonga. He’s tied for the California League lead in wins. The 6-4, 215-pounder leads the staff with 124.1 innings and 105 strikeouts. He was the MiLB.com pitcher of the week in May when he threw a 9-inning shutout. The 23-year-old was LA’s third-round selection in 2014 out of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.