When the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Chase Utley from the Philadelphia Phillies in 2015, it was with the intention of adding further depth and postseason experience to the organization.
While Utley provided those qualities, he additionally lived up to his reputation as being one of the most respected leaders and clubhouse figures in all of baseball. He took on a mentorship role and was revered by all of his teammates, particularly shortstop Corey Seager and second baseman Kiké Hernandez.
Though his production had dropped in recent seasons, Utley evidently brought value to the Dodgers in other ways. His beloved status in the clubhouse led to Los Angeles re-signing him for the 2016-18 MLB seasons.
After spending the latter three and a half seasons of his career with the Dodgers, Utley formally retired as a player this past offseason. His leadership void has since been filled by the likes of David Freese and Justin Turner.
Despite no longer being part of the roster, Utley is continuing to have a positive impact on his former Dodgers teammates. He was a guest instructor for the club during Spring Training and is expected to eventually land a role in the front office.
Utley revealed that he continues to check in with the team during home games and attempts to help players get through slumps by correcting any flaws he recognizes, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“A lot of same stuff, to be honest with you. It’s actually been a lot of fun. A little less stress on my plate now that I’m not playing. But I’m still coming around when the team is at home, interacting with the guys, trying to troubleshoot some different things. So far the season is going pretty well for them, and I’m definitely here to support them.”
In addition to maintaining his presence on the Dodgers, Utley recently joined the SportsNet LA team as a studio analyst. Getting to spectate Los Angeles on a regular basis, the six-time All-Star specifically highlighted Cody Bellinger as one player that has impressed him in the early going.
Citing the quality of his at-bats, Utley revealed that Bellinger’s record-breaking showing has not surprised him in the slightest. The two were teammates during the 2017-18 seasons, and Utley foresaw a breakout season coming based on Bellinger’s success as a rookie.