Dodgers News: Chase Utley To Continue Working At 3rd Base
Dodgers News: Chase Utley To Continue Working At 3rd Base

While Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has mixed and matched plenty this season, using platoons and having to deal with injuries, one of the only constants for Mattingly has been Howie Kendrick at second base.

That was until Kendrick went down with a hamstring injury a couple weeks ago. Because of Kendrick’s injury, the Dodgers went out and acquired Chase Utley from the Philadelphia Phillies to help fill in for Kendrick.

With Kendrick on pace to come back within the next couple of weeks, Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said Utley may be used at third base and at first, to spell Justin Turner and Adrian Gonzalez, respectively.

That comes as a bit of a surprise, as Utley has only played 30 games at first base in his career, and he has never even played one Major-League game at third base. Given that, Utley was again working on fielding grounders on the left side with Dodgers bench Tim Wallach onlooking and teaching.

“I know there’s some type of process Wally [Wallach] is trying to get to kind of in stages,” Mattingly said of Utley getting the private lessons. “I know he’s got a couple of more scheduled [sessions] to work there [third base].”

With Wallach doing the hands-on coaching, Mattingly was positioned at first base to take Utley’s throws across the diamond. However, he didn’t yet share his thoughts on Utley’s progress. “It’s too early for me. This was the second day he’s been out there,” Mattingly said.

Kendrick stalled a bit in his recovery from the hamstring strain and been delayed by a few days, giving Utley more time to work out at third base, while also playing second every day.

Mattingly has previously indicated Kendrick will be the starting second baseman once he’s reinstated from the disabled list, and his comments on Utley further support that notion. “Hopefully by the time Howie is ready to roll Chase is a lot more comfortable [at third base],” Mattingly said.

“That’s the plan we would like to be able to use to get [Turner] a couple days a week off.” Saturday was the first game Utley did not start since being traded to the Dodgers.