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Where oh where has Utley gone?

After a hot start, Chase Utley has really cooled off.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - I'm sure the Philadelphia Phillies, their fans and every fantasy owner of Chase Utley would all like to know the answer to that question.

The All-Star second baseman has been in a "free fall" since peaking on May 3rd. At that point, Utley was batting .369 with 28 runs scored, 13 HR and 26 RBI in just 30 games.

Since then, except for one six-game stretch at the end of May when he hit five homers in six days, Utley has been a ghost. His average has plummeted to .287 and in the 70 games since, he has hit just 12 HR and knocked in 44 runs.

That's a drop in his HR pace from one every 9.38 AB to one every 22.08 AB. His RBI numbers went from one every 4.69 AB to one every 6.02 AB. It's been even worse over the last 10 games. Utley is just 9-for-40 (.225) with no homers and two RBI.

It's unlikely that they are pitching around him with Ryan Howard and his league-leading 29 HR (tied with Adam Dunn) and 88 RBI behind him. But one thing the statistics point out is that Utley is no longer taking advantage when he has the count in his favor. In April and May when he was ahead in the count, Utley was batting a stellar .422, but over the last two months that average has sunk to just .296.

Will he regain his swing before the end of the season? Probably, although he may not approach the numbers from April and May.

I'm not telling you to trade Utley, especially in keeper leagues, but I would no longer put him on the "untouchable" list if you can get a good deal for the final two-month run to the finish.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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