Since the Philadelphia Phillies traded away Placido Polanco June 8, infielder Chase Utley has been in the lineup almost every day. Utley has taken advantage of that role by putting up big numbers. He posted a strong effort last week, earning him National League Player of the Week honors. Utley hit .471 (8-for-17) with two doubles, a triple, one homer and a Major League-leading 10 RBIs. Six of those RBIs came with two outs. "He means a lot to our team," said catcher Mike Lieberthal. "You can see the confidence he has when he comes to the plate. He's fearless."More
During the week, July 14-17, Utley posted a .882 slugging percentage. It is the first time he has won the award, and Utley is the third Phillie to receive the honor this season (Pat Burrell twice; Bobby Abreu once). Utley has a .314 average with 12 home runs and 50 RBIs. He is second among NL second basemen in RBIs and third in homers. "He's going to be a hell of a player," said manager Charlie Manuel. "I saw how much he liked to play in Triple-A. He does the stuff a manager loves, stuff you can't teach. His leadership abilities are just going to come out, and that responsibility is going to come to him." The Phillies won three of four last weekend against the Marlins at home. Utley went 2-for-4 Sunday with two RBIs in a game started by 13-game winner Dontrelle Willis.
Michael Gluskin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less