Listen, we know it's tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn't easy. It's OK, though, we're going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
Chase Utley is one of the greatest Phillies of all-time, a second baseman who hit well enough to play first, but was one of the better gloves at the keystone on top of that bat. He was part of the 2008 World Series winning team, and even as Philadelphia began to fade, he was still there to put up quality numbers into his mid-30s. That time seems to be over now, though, as not only is Utley on the disabled list and batting just .179/.257/.275, but general manager Ruben Amaro and interim manager Pete Mackanin are in agreement that, when the 36-year-old Utley returns, it will be to the bench.
That's because the 25-year-old Cesar Hernandez has taken a hold of second base with his performance in 2015. While he struggled in limited duty in the past, Hernandez is batting .301/.386/.383 in 72 games this season. That's probably not going to last, as he has a .362 batting average on balls in play, and once that falls his line will only look pretty compared to Utley's. The thing is, though, that at least he's young and can maybe figure some things out for a Phillies' team that's rebuilding. Utley probably isn't going to be Utley again, no matter how many plate appearances he gets.
Maybe Utley will return to form once his ankle heals, or at least regain enough of his former self that it makes more sense to play him than rely on Hernandez's luck. The Phillies still intend to play him, and Amaro did say that Utley's situation "would dictate itself," so maybe there is a chance for him to hit his way back into regular duty. One would hope so, as losing his job while on the disabled list to someone collecting a few extra singles is no way for Utley to go out.
- Over at Baseball Prospectus, Christopher Crawford asked some industry members whether or not they think there will be an international draft in the future, and if there should be.
- This is the first All-Star Game since 1945 without a single Yankees or Red Sox player in the starting lineup. This is probably a good time to remind you that Alex Rodriguez was the worst of the All-Star snubs, because legends are automatically included on these teams.
- A Pirates' groundskeeper was nearly eaten alive by an errant tarp, until Andrew McCutchen saved him from his fate.
- The A's have been bad in 2015, and spent the entire offseason trading. How connected are those two statements?
- A duck flew into Wrigley Field, so Cardinals' players fed it. Let's hope this was some high-level feud thing where the Cards are hoping ducks continue to invade Wrigley and distract their rivals all the time.
- Then again, maybe visiting a coffee shop next to Wrigley in full uniform was enough RIVALRY for St. Louis for one Chicago trip.
- There is a new lawsuit against MLB for scout hiring and pay practices. At some point, MLB is going to lose one of these, right?
- The Angels tried convincing the Red Sox to help them trade for Josh Reddick, which would have worked out better if the Angels had literally anything to offer Boston.
- The Brewers are out of it and the Twins are hanging in there, and now the two sides might be discussing a trade.
- The Rangers are considering moving Wandy Rodriguez and Shin-Soo Choo before the trade deadline if they can.
- Mike Trout hit his hardest homer of 2015. You know, so far.
- What should the Giants be trying to accomplish at the trade deadline? They have needs, but Hunter Pence is now back and Matt Duffy took over at third, so ...
- There is one thing Carlos Correa isn't doing, but you know he will eventually.
- Justin Turner cited philosophical differences as the reason the Mets let him go after 2013. Maybe Turner tried to tell Sandy Alderson the Mets needed more offense if they want to succeed, too.