Originally posted on Philly Sports World  |  Last updated 6/26/12

Phillies’ 2nd Baseman Chase Utley will play for the Triple A Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs tonight and will likely be activated from the disabled list tomorrow.

I stand by my assessment of the Phillies. They are a mess and have too many holes to plug to really climb back into this race right now and win the NL East. With that said, the Phillies are only 8 games back. It feels like it should be 20, but it’s not. And, more importantly, as much I loathe it, the Phillies are only 4.5 games back of the second wild card spot.

The Phillies are also 36 hours away from getting Chase Utley back. Utley will not turn this around on his own. In fact, his .161 average against single A pitching is a bit alarming. I know the line… Still trying to get his swing down and his timing back, yada yada yada. If you can’t hit .250 against single A pitching, I fear things might be worse than expected for Utley. However, Utley brings a lot more to the team than just his bat. Utley is a leader on this team. It always surprises me given his lack of a personality on most occasions. Nonetheless, he is a leader.

The Phillies, as I’ve been saying for months now, lack swagger. They show very little fight or feistiness. Utley may just be able to provide some of that for them.

I know some people have given up on me. There are some people who have given up on this team. I’ll be the first one to tell you that I have definitely not given up on myself and our guys have not given up on this year. – Chase Utley, as he spoke to reporters yesterday on his impending return.

Those are strong words that will hopefully resonate with the team. Last year when Chase Utley returned, the lift to the team was immediate. They had more life and played better, even as he struggled through the season.

For the Phillies and Utley, it may be more about the intangibles he brings to the team than the number of home runs he hits. If the Phillies are going to climb back in, it has to start with Utley’s return.

Similar Posts:

  • The Philly Phace Off – Who Means More to the Phillies? Utley or Howard
  • Phillies Pitching Needs to Improve to Sustain a Run
  • Is Utley’s Return A Good Thing for the Phillies?
  • Utley Could Be Back Wednesday; Howard In a Few Weeks
  • Could the Phillies Be Contemplating a Re-Build?

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