The greatest second baseman in Philadelphia Phillies history might make a position change in 2013.
Chase Utley started fielding ground balls at third base before Wednesday night's game. And hopefully, he keeps doing it.
Because Utley's future with the Phillies is at third base.
The move makes perfect sense.
Utley, who has been on the disabled list the past two years because of degenerated knees, would be ideal at third where he wouldn't have to take such a pounding from going to his left and right all the time and from having base runners trying to take him out.
More important, the move may keep Utley in a Phils uniform for years to come if he's successful. Utley will be playing in the last year of his contract in 2013 so he's doing the right thing by trying to prolong his career.
Utley's a smart fellow. After all, he's the one who suggested this move to General Manager Ruben Amaro.
No Phillies fan wants to ever see Chase Utley depart the team. He's a fan favorite who can do no wrong. Philly fans love players who hustle.
And Utley is the closest player the Phils have to Charlie Hustle since...well...Charlie Hustle (Pete Rose) played for the team and won them a World Series in 1980.
Third base is a huge hole for the Phillies. And it has been for several years.
Placido Palanco just can't stay healthy to play the hot corner even though he is a Gold Glover. He also doesn't deliver the power numbers needed by your 3B guy.
Utley certainly does.
Kevin Frandsen, while showing some smark, is not your next third basemen. He's a great utility guy who could spell Utley next year at third.
So move Utley to third. This way it clears second base for Freddie Galvis, who was magical playing there to open the season before getting injured and suspended for violating baseball's drug policy.
Utley is doing the right thing for himself and the ballclub by going to third.
He tried to make the move a decade ago to replace Scott Rolen but was ineffective in Triple A. That was before he became Chase Utley, the star stud we all know and love.
You can't see a Phillies team without Utley in the lineup. And Galvis has earned his stripes.
These moves have also worked before.
Long ago, All-Star catcher Darren Daulton's knees were shot. So Dutch told the club he could still contribute. He took a spot in right field and did a decent job before being traded to the Florida Marlins, where he got a World Series ring.
We all want Chase Utley to get another World Series ring. His best chance is with the Philadelphia Phillies.