Thoughts on Chase Utley, Mandy Housenick, Cody Overbeck, and the Clearwater Threshers

Posted by Frank Klose

I have been away for the last week, and I had a bunch of things I wanted to comment on.   Here goes.

2011-05-19_19-54-26_230
Philliedelphia/Frank Klose

First, a buzz has been generated by Mindy Housenick.   In her blog today, a post entited, "Chase…Were You Listening?" seemed to anger many fans  when she stated,

When Chase Utley stepped into the batter's box Monday night, the cheers he got were near deafening. And they went on and on and on.

People simply wouldn't sit down.

But all Utley did was stand there. No wave of his hand. No tip of his cap.

Why? Would it have been so hard to quickly acknowledge the largest crowd ever to attend a regular-season game at Citizens Bank Park.

Well, I was present at the game, and I am not sure anyone expected Utley to do anything he does not normally do, which is go about his business.  Nothing really seemed to cause anyone in my view to bat an eye.  

I captured video of his return with my cell phone, and you can check out out here:

Watching Utley in Clearwater last week to a few thousand fans and watching Utley play before the sold out reportedly largest regular season crowd in Citizens Bank Park history, Utley looked exactly the same.  I'd expect nothing less of Chase Utley.

Threshers Game Goes 23 Innings

Last night's Clearwater Threshers game against the Jupiter Hammerheads went 23 innings.  Center fielder Jiwan James had five whole at bats to hit a home run needed for the cycle, but did not succeed.

Outfielder Jonathan Singleton left the game after the 8th inning with a minor injury, which does not appear to be serious, as his pal Jiwan James made fun of him on his twitter:
Jiwanjames
He also notes on Twitter that he and Singleton went to IHop to eat afterwards.  I guess that means Singleton is okay.

Also noteworthy in the game:  The Threshers first baseman Darrin Ruf and designated hitter Joe Savery combined to throw four shutout innings from innings 19 through 22.   Even stranger is that the Threshers best reliever, Justin Friend, who leads all of minor league baseball in saves, pitched after the first baseman and DH.

Of course, Friend lost the game in the bottom of the 23rd as he gave up a run.

Down on the Farm

Phillies prospect Cody Overbeck is currently playing at AA Reading.   In his early minor-league career, Overbeck was a third baseman, but it became clear that third base was not his best position, so the Phillies moved him to first base.   Now, Overbeck is playing some left field.  

This is significant because Overbeck is the Phillies one right-handed power-threat prospect in their system.   He is certainly blocked at first base by Ryan Howard, and the Phillies could really use some right-handed pop in the outfield in the next couple years.

So far at Reading, Overbeck is hitting .276 with 12 home runs and 33 RBI.