Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt not worried about Chase Utley

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Phillies second baseman Chase Utley wasn’t in Saturday’s lineup against the Mets with lefty Jon Niese on the hill. He has been in the starting lineup just once in his team’s last four games, a result of him batting .099/.175/.198 in 103 plate appearances to begin the 2015 season.

Former Phillies third baseman and Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt knows how quickly a player can lose it. He famously hit .117/.247/.167 over 73 plate appearances in May 1989 before announcing his retirement in between tears. He doesn’t see that same fate awaiting Utley, though. Via ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick:

Utley has degenerative conditions in both knees and is 36 years old. There’s no question his better days are behind him. However, he also has a .079 batting average on balls in play. Even if he’s completely lost it at the plate, we should still see a much higher BABIP than .079. There’s likely some truth in Schmidt’s optimism.