Bill Baer

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 16:  Chase Utley #26 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to a strike out against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fifth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on August 16, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Chase Utley plans to play in 2017


Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley plans to play in 2017, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Utley, a veteran of 14 seasons, turns 38 years old in December, but has hit a passable .250/.327/.379 with eight home runs and 33 RBI in 399 plate appearances this season for the Dodgers. It’s his first full season with the team which acquired him in mid-August last year from the Phillies.

The Dodgers re-signed Utley to a one-year, $7 million contract in December but the club might not be interested in one more go this winter.

Randy Wolf and Placido Polanco will retire as Phillies this weekend

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 1: Placido Polanco #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies bats in the game against the Atlanta Braves on May 1, 2012 at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia. The Phillies beat the Braves 4-2. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

As part of the Phillies’ Alumni Weekend, pitcher Randy Wolf and infielder Placido Polanco will retire as a member of the team, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Wolf will retire on August 13 and Polanco on the 14th.

Wolf, 39, spent 16 seasons in the majors, including eight with the Phillies. He put up a 4.24 ERA with 1,814 strikeouts and 831 walks in 2,328 1/3 innings. The lefty had the honor of starting the first regular season game at Citizens Bank Park in 2004.

Polanco, 40, also spent 16 seasons in the big leagues, including seven with the Phillies across two stints. The Phillies acquired him from the Cardinals in 2002 in the Scott Rolen trade, then signed him as a free agent going into the 2010 season. In his career, he hit .297/.343/.397 with 104 home runs and 723 RBI in 7,887 plate appearances.

What’s on Tap: Previewing Monday’s action

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 22: Jake Odorizzi #23 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum on July 22, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Don Feria/Getty Images)
Don Feria/Getty Images

Rays starter Jake Odorizzi had a rough first half. He went into the All-Star break with a 4.47 ERA, failing to make it through the sixth inning in his final four starts of the first half. The break must’ve been just what the doctor ordered, as he’s posted a 0.68 ERA in four second-half starts, including three consecutive scoreless appearances for a scoreless innings streak of 20 2/3.

Odorizzi, 26, broke onto the scene in 2014, posting a 4.13 ERA and averaging better than a strikeout per inning over 31 starts, finishing eighth in American League Rookie of the Year Award balloting. He followed that up by improving to a 3.35 ERA last year, cementing himself as a rotation mainstay behind Chris Archer.

Needless to say, Odorizzi’s struggles this year have been a bit perplexing. He’s seen a big increase in the rate of batted balls hit hard, going from 27 percent last year to 32.5 percent this year. He has already matched last year’s total of home runs allowed with 18 and as a percentage of fly balls, he’s up a couple of ticks. But his strikeout rate is up, his walk rate is essentially the same, and he hasn’t lost velocity or changed his pitch usage much at all.

Odorizzi will have a tough matchup on Monday night, as the Blue Jays host the Rays in a 7:07 PM EDT start. He’ll oppose knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.

The rest of Monday’s action…

San Francisco Giants (Johnny Cueto) @ Miami Marlins (Jose Fernandez), 7:10 PM EDT

Atlanta Braves (Rob Whalen) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Zach Davies), 7:20 PM EDT

Houston Astros (Collin McHugh) @ Minnesota Twins (Tyler Duffey), 8:10 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds (Cody Reed) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Michael Wacha), 8:15 PM EDT

Texas Rangers (Cole Hamels) @ Colorado Rockies (Tyler Anderson), 8:40 PM EDT

Baltimore Orioles (Kevin Gausman) @ Oakland Athletics (Kendall Graveman), 10:05 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers (Michael Fulmer) @ Seattle Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma), 10:10 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies (Zach Eflin) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Julio Urias), 10:10 PM EDT