Utley Position change?

There have been a few stories and comments in the past few days suggesting a position change for Chase Utley to try to better accomodate what appear to be long-term knee issues.  Generally, the suggestions have been a corner outfield position (with a few suggesting 1B which of course is not going to happen).  I, for one, just don’t see the outfield as a viable solution for several reasons.  First, Utley, as great a player as he is, has one of the worst arms of all second baseman- not David Eckstein bad, but bad nonetheless- and the arm has gotten worse over the years because he has trained to throw the short distance from second to first.  To expect him to be able to throw the ball from the wall and even reach the cut-off man with any accuracy is quite a stretch.  Maybe he could improve his arm strength a bit, but not enough to make him anything more than a really low-rated outfield arm.  Second, Utley has good second baseman range, but not the range necessary to cover ground in the outfield.  Is he as slow as Ibanez- no- but with bad knees and aging, he is getting there quickly- and constant running after balls certainly would just as bad if not worse on the knees than bending over to field maybe 4-5 ground balls a game.  I think the Phillies instead need to seriously evaluate his knees and if they won’t get better with rest (and stay in good shape) they need to recommend knee surgery- after the season if he can put up with the pain, but now if not, and get him back in shape to be the great 2B he has always been.


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