Report: Ex-Phillies 2B Chase Utley Was Not Interested in Coaching


The Phillies are reportedly close to naming Rob Thomson their bench coach under new manager Gabe Kapler.  One report had the Phillies interested in bringing back former second baseman Chase Utley in a bench coach role.  Even though the Phillies appear to have decided on Thomson, it does not appear that Utley was interested, anyway.

According to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic, Utley still wishes to play:

Utley is currently a free agent.

If the Phillies are particularly interested in Utley's leadership, would they consider him for a bench role?  No matter what happens, Utley certainly will not start on this Phillies club.  The Phillies would have to move both Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis before one infield position is open, and even if that is the case, Scott Kingery would be soon to follow.  But even as a bench player, Utley's offensive production may not be enough.

Utley started 2017 in an abysmal slum that left him batting .034 as late as April 24.  Utley rebounded and by May 30 was batting a season-high .252.  Utley finished at .238 and went hitless through the entire playoffs, which of coursre went all the way through game seven of the World Series.

If Utley signs with anyone, it would be as a left-handed first base or second base bat that occasionally starts against a right-handed pitcher and pinch hits.  If the Phillies wanted Utley for such a role, they could not expect much offensive production from Utley.  

However, if they really wanted Utley's leadership, it would be a way of getting his influence into the clubhouse.  Whether or not the Dodgers are interested in bringing Utley back remains to be seen.  The Dodgers may be Utley's first choice to play at this point, given his Los Angeles roots.

Utley will not coach for the Phillies.  But if the Phillies were that interested in having Utley around, maybe they will consider him for a bench role.