CLEARWATER, Fla. (CBS) – Today is reporting day for Phillies position players at spring training in Clearwater, but many have been in camp for days already.
Among the early reporters was second baseman Chase Utley.
Manager Charlie Manuel says he is expecting a lot out of Utley this year, after injuries slowed him down last season.
“Last two years I definitely think the injuries set him back,” Manuel told KYW Newsradio. “I look at Chase definitely as a .300 hitter, he showed that his first four or five years in the big leagues. And he’s a 25-30 home run guy, gonna knock in 100 runs, and he’s going to score over a hundred. He’s going to steal 20-25 bases. His numbers this year should go up some if he can stay healthy.”
Utley may not be a “rah-rah” type of guy, but to Manuel he is the team leader.
“Chase is definitely a leader on the team. I think he sets a real good example, you know, like how he goes about and plays the game. That’s probably his leadership role. But also, I think he’s a guy that, through his expressions, he don’t have to say nothing. I think that the guys know him and just his expressions, and the way he’ll look at you and things. Kind of tell you what he expects,” notes Manuel.
Manuel says he expects Utley to play as many as 150 games this coming season.
Reported by Jack O’Rourke, KYW Newsradio 1060.