No Phillie has played in more games than Chase Utley this season. The veteran second baseman, who missed massive portions of 2011 and 2012 with bad knees, has looked just fine in 2013.
Utley, who had played in 39 games, leads the Phils in homers (seven) and and RBIs (24), while sporting a .289 average. Utley didn’t start Tuesday night against Cleveland.
“I think it’ll be good for Ut,” Charlie Manuel said. “I’ll try to monitor him and keep him off his feet at times.”
The Indians started lefty Scott Kazmir, the pitcher Utley homered off in Game 1 of the 2008 World Series, but starting Kevin Frandsen at second made sense. He’s hitting .405 with a .582 slugging percentage against left-handers. It’s a small sample set for Frandsen (29 at-bats). Still, he needs to get out there.
“I would like to play as much as possible,” Frandsen said. “Charlie said he’ll get me in when he can. But I knew what I signed on for when I came back with the Phillies for this season. You have to play Chase Utley at second base. He has to be there. We all know what kind of player he is.”
And then there is Freddy Galvis. The young utility player is hitting .280 with five extra base hits in 50 at-bats. Manuel has made no secret how much he wants to get Galvis in the lineup.
“It’s just not Chase,” Frandsen said. “Freddy is a good young player. Everybody needs to play. I want to get at-bats, but it’s more about the team. I just want to help us win. That’s the bottom line. I’ll do whatever I can for the team. That’s what it’s all about.”