'Shazam!' And Your 2013 Third Baseman Is: Not Chase Utley

'Shazam!' And Your 2013 Third Baseman Is: Not Chase Utley

In a perfect world, Not Chase Utley is a seasoned third baseman. Not Chase Utley is a right-handed bat who can hit for power. According to Ruben Amaro, Not Chase Utley almost certainly is not Chase Utley.

The Chutley experiment at third base seems to have ended before it ever really got started, ending when the Phils' general manager admitted nobody in the organization is quite comfortable with that idea after all. Sure, maybe the career second baseman could make the switch, but how could we ever know for sure, especially in time for 2013?

I mean, I guess they could play him there over there for the last five games. Yeah, that doesn't sound desperate at all.

This was always some sort of pipe dream. Via Jim Salisbury:

“It’s kind of on hold, I guess,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said early Friday night. “He made progress [in workouts at third base.] It’s more a matter of practicality and what’s really best for the team.”

“After further review, we think this makes sense,” Amaro said. “He’s doing well over there. But in retrospect, we think it would be difficult to make an assessment on watching him play six games. We’re not good enough scouts to make an assessment on six games.”

“It’s not dead, but it’s kind of unfair for us to make an evaluation on six games and say, ‘Shazam, this guy can play the position,’” Amaro said.

Pretty sure Amaro may have put a magic spell on me the moment he said "Shazam," but it is also possible I simply find it hard to disagree with any thought that we're going to take a player who has been at one position his entire big league career and suddenly move him to another. I mean, it would not be the first time that's ever happened, but in this case we're also talking about a guy most fans wish would just play an entire season for a change.

You have to appreciate Utley for volunteering, but also should respect the front office for putting a stop to it before it really grows legs. The Phillies need a third baseman, and Chase Utley is not a third baseman. Yet looking at the barren free agent pool, we can only hope Not Chase Utley actually turns out to be a better option.

>> Utley third base experiment is put to rest [CSN]

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Temple picked to finish 6th in AAC preseason poll

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Temple picked to finish 6th in AAC preseason poll

This is starting to become a trend. One Temple hopes to continue to prove wrong.

For the third straight year, Temple was chosen to finish sixth in the American Athletic Conference preseason poll. The poll, which was released on Monday, is voted on by the conference's head coaches.

Also selected to finish sixth last season, the Owls posted a 21-12 overall record and a 14-4 mark in the AAC to reach the NCAA Tournament. In 2014-15, TU tied for third in the AAC with a 13-5 record and was one of the last teams left out of the Big Dance.

Cincinnati was tabbed to win the American title in the poll, just ahead of UConn.

Temple, who returns three starters from last season's team, opens the 2016-17 campaign against city rival La Salle at the Liacouras Center on Nov. 11.