PHILADELPHIA — If Chase Utley couldn’t get any cooler…
The Phillies second baseman approached general manager Ruben Amaro today and brought up the idea of playing some third base. Utley wanted to take some grounders and try out a new position to create some flexibility.
“Chase is one of those guys, if he puts his mind to it… it’s worth exploring,” Amaro told reporters.
Amaro also said that Utley tried out third base while in the Minors but struggled with the throwing. Obviously times have changed and Utley’s arm has improved, Amaro added.
If this works, it would fill a huge hole for next season, and give Freddy Galvis somewhere to play. It’s also a contract year for Utley so it could potentially increase his value.
Jump it for an update!
UPDATE — Adding to this post, Ryan Lawrence asked Placido Polanco about making the transition, seeing as Polanco is one of two players in baseball history to win a Gold Glove at two different positions.
Obviously, there are two things Polanco brought up that show the drastic difference in switching to third base. One is how fast the ball comes at a third baseman and the second is the throw.
“It’s a longer throw,” Polly said. “You have to really, really anticipate the play becase you don’t have a lot of time to think once the ball is hit.”
But like Amaro said yesterday, Polanco feels that Utley can do it, especially if he really wants to.
“Chase is an athlete, he has great hands,” Polanco said. “I’m pretty sure he’s going t have to get used to it. Going to have to do long toss, stretch….
“If he gets (to the ballpark) at 1, he’s going to have to get here at 11. You have to really stretch your arm.”