Chase Utley is scheduled to make his studio debut with SportsNet LA when the Los Angeles Dodgers begin the annual Freeway Series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Monday, a Charter Communications spokesperson confirmed to DodgerBlue.com.
Utley was announced as a studio analyst in March when SportsNet LA unveiled their programming schedule for the 2019 season. Still in the first few months of retirement, Utley had already joined the Dodgers in camp at Camelback Ranch.
While the organization long made it clear they intended to keep Utley involved after his career was over, they did not pressure him into any sort of formal role. “We want to give Chase as much latitude as he wants,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said at the time.
“He’s going to be in town for a few days, and then he’ll come back again and again. Just kind of getting the landscape and the footing, talking to Minor League players. Hopefully he’ll connect with Lux and Estevez and some of the middle infielders, and just kind of figuring out where he fits.”
Utley has maintained a presence around the team during parts of their homestands this season. He’s come away impressed by the collective group and particularly Cody Bellinger. Noting some of his maturation as a young player, Utley said he was not surprised by Bellinger’s historic start to the season.
Utley is forever revered for his time with the Philadlephia Phillies, which included a World Series win and subsequent parade in which he cursed out of excitement, much to the delight of the crowd.
Upon being traded to the Dodgers in August 2015, Utley quickly made an impact on the clubhouse. His locker was positioned next to Corey Seager’s as the franchise hoped the veteran would rub off on their rookie standout.
Utley was regularly praised by not only Seager, but Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner, Roberts and Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, among others.