Dodgers second baseman Utley to retire at end of year
LOS ANGELES — Chase Utley will retire at the end of this season, capping a 16-year career that included a World Series championship with Philadelphia and an elder statesman role with the Dodgers.
The six-time All-Star said he’s leaving to spend more time with his wife and two young sons.
“I’m ready to be a full-time dad,” he said.
Utley announced his decision at a jammed news conference in the bowels of Dodger Stadium on Friday, with several of his teammates surprising him by crowding into the small, steamy room.
“I just want you guys to know that I’ve signed a five-year extension,” Utley deadpanned, drawing laughter from manager Dave Roberts, Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner, Alex Wood, Andrew Toles, Joc Pederson, Logan Forsythe and Ross Stripling.
The 2019 season would have been the final year of a $2 million, two-year contract for Utley.
The 39-year-old second baseman made his name with the Phillies, earning five All-Star berths and winning four Silver Slugger awards. He helped the team to a World Series title in 2008, combining with shortstop Jimmy Rollins as a standout double-play duo.
Utley has a .276 career average with 259 home runs. He is renowned for his base-stealing ability, with 153 steals in 175 attempts.
Pujols goes to DL
A day after tying Ken Griffey Jr. on the all-time homer list with his 630th career blast, Albert Pujols went on the 10-day disabled list with left knee inflammation.
Pujols is hitting .252 with 16 homers and 52 RBIs for the season. The 38-year-old’s average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage are all up after a tough 2017 season. Pujols is within range of recording his 15th season with at least 100 RBIs, which would break his tie with Alex Rodriguez for the most such seasons in history.
Kluber receives knee injection
CLEVELAND — Corey Kluber’s stellar first half ended with a sudden stop.
Cleveland’s ace received an injection in his right knee that will force him to miss the All-Star Game. But more importantly, the Indians are hoping it will allow the right-hander to continue leading their rotation after the break — and beyond.
Kluber got the shot in his knee Friday, a day after the two-time Cy Young winner gave up two runs in the eighth inning in a loss to the Yankees. The AL Central-leading Indians said the right-hander will need at least one week to recover, and he’s not expected to make his next start until July 23 against Pittsburgh.
Kluber has been replaced on the AL All-Star roster by Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell. While Kluber’s knee issue doesn’t appear to be serious, the Indians aren’t taking any chances.
Kluber took his fifth loss of the season Thursday, but never mentioned anything about having any issues with his knee. Kluber has given up 19 runs over his past 34 innings, an uncharacteristic stretch for one of baseball’s best.
Other All-Star Game replacements: Brewers pitcher Jeremy Jeffress (Halifax County) for the Nationals’ Sean Doolittle (U.Va.), who is on the 10-day DL with toe inflammation; Cardinals catcher
Yadier Molina for the Giants’
Buster Posey; Dodgers pitcher
Ross Stripling for the Cardinals’
Miles Mikolas, who starts Sunday; Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke for the Cubs’ Jon Lester, who starts Sunday; Athletics second baseman Jed Lowrie for the Yankees’ Gleyber Torres (right hip); and Astros pitcher Charlie Morton for the Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman (left knee).