The Los Angeles Dodgers announced that second baseman Chase Utley will be holding a press conference this afternoon at Dodger Stadium. The topic of the press conference has not been made public, but it’s likely to be a retirement announcement. Utley is a man of few words and there is not any other logical reason for a press conference to be held.
Utley has made only 130 plate appearances this year, in part because he missed time on the disabled list with a sprained thumb. When he has played, he has not been effective, hitting .231/.313/.331 with only one homer and ten extra base hits in total.
Utley, 39, has played in the majors for 16 seasons and, for the most part, they have been amazing seasons. He’s a career .276/.358/.466 hitter who has made six All-Star appearances and has played in the World Series three times. He was the unquestioned clubhouse leader of the excellent Philadelphia Phillies teams for which he played in his prime and, even as a role player with the Dodgers, he has been spoken of as an uncommonly respected and influential veteran presence. There was talk this past offseason of him possibly taking a coaching job back in Philly, but the Dodgers signed him again anyway, in large part for the leadership he provides.
We’ll update later if this is, indeed, the end of Utley’s playing career and will provide a retrospective of one of the best second basemen in modern baseball memory.