Phillies manager Charlie Manuel wants an upgrade at the utility infield position, writes Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Second baseman Chase Utley tends to run out of gas late in the season and a quality backup would go a long way towards solving that problem.
Utley's late-season performance took a dive once again this year as fatigue caught up with him. The 30-year-old hit .304/.423/.554 from the start of the year to the end of August. From September 1st to the end of the regular season, Utley saw his slash line dip to a putrid .193/.290/.325.
An improvement over Eric Bruntlett (.462 OPS in 2009) could also ease the workload of Jimmy Rollins. As Martino points out, someone with enough versatility could even spell Raul Ibanez in left field.
The article identifies two candidates who can fill that role in this winter's free agent class: Mark DeRosa and Marco Scutaro. While both players have experience at second-base, each were asked to play just a handful of innings at the position in '09.
What other free agent utility men should Ruben Amaro Jr. consider this winter?