The Phillies have played 28 games and Chase Utley already has nine hits. Nine. In 87 at-bats. Ninety-nine plate appearances. Good for a .103 average and .389 OPS entering play Wednesday, or just 179 and 461 points respectively below his career averages.
For a team which is likely to have a historically bad season — the Phillies haven’t lost 100 games in 54 years — Utley’s first month is the worst of 2015’s worst team.
Here’s a numerical comparison to show how bad it’s been:
14: Home runs by Nelson Cruz, or five more than Utley has hits. Three players — Cruz, Mark Teixeira and Hanley Ramirez — have more homers than Utley has hits; two others (Adrian Gonzalez and Todd Frazier) have as many.
13: Stolen bases by MLB leader Billy Hamilton. Five players — Hamilton, Dee Gordon, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jose Altuve and George Springer — have more steals than Utley has hits. Jake Marisnick has as many.
12: Quality starts by Boston. Red Sox starting pitchers have a 5.46 ERA, yet still have three more quality starts than Utley has hits. Perhaps he’d have more if he faced them. Oh wait. Utley did, and went 1-for-11 against the Red Sox, proving he’s not hitting anybody.
11: Saves for each of New York’s stoppers, the Yankees’ Andrew Miller and the Mets’ Jeurys Familia. Each has two more saves than Utley has hits. Joakim Soria has one more, and Glen Perkins, Trevor Rosenthal and Houston Street have as many.
11: Consecutive hits Utley would need to raise his average to .200 — all the way to .204.
22: Consecutive hits Utley would need to raise his average to his lifetime .282.
46: Hits by Miami second baseman Dee Gordon, or 37 more than Utley. He got his ninth in the Marlins’ sixth game, on April 12.
10: Lowest number of hits by a player, other than Utley with at least 75 plate appearances. Rene Rivera, at 10-for-78, is only hitting 25 points more than Utley’s .103. Shin-Soo Choo (11-73, .151), Matt Joyce (12-for-81, .148) and Mike Zunino (12-75, .160) haven’t distinguished themseleves, either.
8: Wins by Milwaukee, the only team with fewer wins than Utley has hits. Two others — the White Sox and Indians — have just nine.
14: RBIs by Utley, who has more RBIs than he has hits. Mark Teixeira (22 RBIs, 18 hits, 10 homers) and Jose Bautista (17-16) are the only other players with 75 plate appearances to have more RBIs than hits, though both have been far more productive (who hasn’t?). Brandon Moss (18-18) and Evan Gattis (18-18) have the same number of RBIs as hits.
20: Extra-base hits by Matt Carpenter, who leads MLB. Sixty-four players, including sluggers Andrelton Simmons, Zack Cozart, Kevin Pillar, Marcus Semien and Logan Forsythe, all have more extra-base hits than Utley has hits.
18: Total bases for Utley on three home runs and six singles. Or exactly half as many as Ryan Howard, who’s hitting .195. Ouch.
8: Times MLB leader Anthony Rizzo has been hit by a pitch (Royals, take note). He’s been hit one fewer time than Utley has gotten one.
0.44 The runs Utley has created this season per 27 outs, which might help explain why the Phillies have been shut out four times. Utley didn’t play Tuesday when they lost to Atlanta, 9-0, so that one’s not on him. Among players with at least 75 plate appearances, only Casey McGehee (0.19) and Rivera (-0.34) have been worse.
-1.2: Utley’s early-season WAR, tied with former teammate Jayson Werth for third-worst. Only Joyce (-1.3) and Rivera — thank goodness for Rivera (-1.5) — have been worse.