Can Chase Utley help the Angels break out of their slump?

By David Rice

According to most fans and baseball analysts, the Los Angeles Angels swung and missed with their July trade deadline moves.  The team acquired Conor Gillaspie, David DeJesus, Shane Victorino, and David Murphy to fill the voids created by injuries/lack of production to David Freese and Matt Joyce.  In theory the moves looked decent, but with the exception of Murphy none of the players have really helped to provide the Angels with a lift offensively.  Gillaspie is batting .203 (13 for 64) since being acquired from the Chicago White Sox on July 24th.  DeJesus is even worse going 5 for 40 (.125) since being acquired from Tampa Bay on July 28th.  Victorino is 6 for 27 (.222) since arriving from Boston, and Murphy is 14 for 53 (.264).  More importantly the four acquisitions have hit only three home runs between them.

With the Los Angeles Angels offense in dire need of some pop interim general manager Bill Stoneman can make one move that could bolster the line-up and possibly help the team break out of their recent offensive funk: Make a deal for the Phillies Chase Utley. Utley may not be the player he once was, but he has shown recently he still has something left in the tank going 13 for 26 with 1 home run and 5 RBI’s in 7 games since coming off the DL.  Utley is also a local boy as he was born in Pasadena and he went to college at UCLA. For his career he has hit 233 home runs and driven in 916 runs while sporting a career .282 average and was a part of the two World Series teams for the Phillies.

Although Johnny Giavotella has done an adequate job at second base batting .270 with 3 home runs and 40 RBI’s, Utley could platoon with Giavotella at second against righties and also play some at DH. The question will be as always, how much will the team have to give up to get Utley.  If the price is not too high (a top pitching prospect) then the Angels front office owes it to the team and the fans to make this move if they hope to salvage this season.  I don’t know if there is another player out there that is available that could make more of an impact for the Angels at this point than Utley.  I implore you Mr. Stoneman make the impact move this team needs to make a playoff run down the stretch.  If you do nothing, it may seal the fate of the 2015 Los Angeles Angels as a team of what could have been.

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