In 2011, for the second straight season, Chase Utley’s offensive performance left people worrying if the old Utley was gone forever. Since the start of the 2010 season, he has now hit 267/367/435 over his last 965 plate appearances. Utley made his debut with the Phils in 2003 and got 287 plate appearances with the team in 2004. From 2005 through 2009, Utley hit 301/388/535 over 3,374 plate appearances.
First things first — a .367 on-base percentage over the last two years is better than fine. In 2011, there were 99 NL batters who got at least 400 plate appearances and 16 of them on-based better than .367. Even in his two down years combined, Utley still hit for more power than an average NL second baseman. Over the last two years, his isolated power is .168. Last year in the NL, the average NL second baseman’s isolated power was .123. But a lot better than average or not, it’s not 301/388/535 and the Chase Utley of the last two years hasn’t been the same guy we saw earlier in his career.
Here’s the percentage of plate appearances for Chase Utley that have ended in hits, walks, strikeouts, singles, doubles, triples, home runs or an extra-base hit of any kind for the years 2005 through 2009 and for 2010 and 2011:
The good news is that over the last two years, Utley has been more likely to walk in a plate appearance and less likely to strike out. His triples are up a tiny bit and the percentage of his plate appearances in which he got a single is only down a little. The bad news is pretty much everything else — hits overall are way down and his plate appearances were far less likely to end in a double or a home run.
Not shown on the table above are the overall percentage of his hits that went for extra-bases. From 2005 through 2009 it was 41.7%, in 2010 and 2011 combined it was 34.5%.
Over the last two years, Utley has hit 27 home runs in 965 plate appearances. From 2005 to 2009, he averaged 29.2 home runs a season. If he had hit home runs at his 2005-2009 rate over his 965 plate appearances in ’10 and ’11 combined, he would have hit about 41.8.
When you look at his left-right power over the last two years, it’s up and down. In 2010 he was a monster against lefties and miserable against righties. In 2011, he was up against righties, but still way below his ’05-’09 numbers, and way down against lefties.
When you combine his isolated power numbers for ’05-’09 against lefties and righties, though, and compare them to the same numbers in 2010 and 2011 combined, the numbers are dramatic:
|Vs Lefties||Vs Righties|
So, against lefties, despite the up and down over the last two years, in 2010 and 2011 his isolated power is almost exactly what it was from 2005 through 2009 (.216 from ’05 to ’09 and .214 from ’10 to ’11).
Against righties it was .242 from 2005 to 2009, but .148 in 2010 and 2011 combined. Utley’s numbers took a dive against righties in 2010 when he hit just 266/371/381 against them. He got better in 2011, while at the same time dropping off dramatically after a huge year against left-handed pitching. Even in 2011, though, he wasn’t hitting with as much power against righties as he had from ’05 to ’09. In 2011, Utley hit 285/362/467 against righties, giving him an isolated power mark of .182. That’s a whole lot better than the .114 he put up in 2010, but still a lot worse than anything he did in the six-year span from 2005 to 2009. During that stretch, his worst mark for isolated power was in 2009 — that season he hit 279/387/489 against righties, giving with an isolated power of .211 (nearly a hundred points better than in 2011).
Final note is that his isolated power against lefties over the last two years matches up with the previous six only because of his huge results against lefties in 2010. In 2011, his isolated power mark against lefties was .121 as he hit just .187 and slugged .308 against lefties. That’s almost as bad as the .114 against righties in 2010. Against lefties, his worst mark in any year 2005 to 2009 was 2006 when he put up and isolated power of .162 against left-handed pitching.
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The Phils will get two picks for losing Madson.
This says that the Phillies released John Bowker so he could sign a deal to play in Japan.
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This says the Phillies are hopeful that Howard will return to the lineup sometime in May.