Ibanez Making Himself at Home

Raul-Ibanez.jpgIt is just two weeks, but

Raul Ibanez, who signed a three-year, $31.5 million contract in the offseason to replace Pat Burrell in left field, is fifth in the National League in hitting (.386), tied for first in home runs (five), tied for 13th in RBIs (10), 14th in on-base percentage (.438) and first in slugging percentage (.864).

Ibanez won yesterday’s game against the Padres with a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning. He has shown the ability to run the bases, although he misplayed a ball in left field yesterday that led to a couple runs.

But overall, Ibanez has made a favorable first impression.

“Our lineup is good for him. He fits,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “I always liked him as a hitter in the American League. He was an offensive player back when I saw him. He’s swinging the bat real good right now.”

Manuel thinks Ibanez can hit 35 to 40 homers in the Bank. He might. The Bill James Handbook 2009 gave Citizens Bank Park a 122 home run index rating from 2006-08, which means it was 22 percent easier to hit a homer at the Bank than other NL ballparks. It gave Safeco Field in Seattle a 94 home run index rating, which means it was six percent more difficult to hit a homer at Safeco than other AL ballparks.

In other words, Ibanez, who hit a career-high 33 homers in 2006, very likely could see a jump in his power numbers in ’09.

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Burrell is off to a slow start with the Rays. He is hitting .225 (9-for-40) with two doubles, one home run and four RBIs. He has a .319 on-base percentage and a .350 slugging percentage.

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18 Comments

I’ve enjoyed watching Ibanez play so far and I think many of the fans have also since it seems that the shout “Raul” when he comes to bat. I like he’s style of play, his leadership and anyone who “trains” ala Chase Utley is a smart ballplayer.

Oh so glad the Phils got a win yesterday. I think they needed it after such an emotional week. Don’t know if they’ll get today’s game in with the weather not looking all that promising as I write this.

Have you noticed how all the people who were bad mouthing this “trade” are now quiet? Ibanez is a perfect match for the team, a contact hitter with power and brains. It means that we have placed Howard between two such players (Utley and Ibanez). Please notice how the three of them are having great seasons so far.

I have a group of friends that I talk baseball with via e-mail on a regular basis, and the Ibanez detractors are conspicuously silent. I’m waiting a little bit before I begin ribbing them, but I’m confident that a guy with his smarts and work ethic will continue to produce. Unfortunately for Pat, I just don’t think he’s a DH. He’s been an everyday player since day 1.

I just knew Raul would fit in with the team. Glad he’s proving me right! I read how, he has asked Chase “to share his expertise, while watching video of NL pitchers.” Just shows how he wants to be prepared for the game, and not just coming in to *do his own thing*.

And I agree with phan52……Pat never wanted to DH. Guess it’ll take him a while to get used to the new role.

A heads-up for anyone going to the game TOMORROW. Me included………The Flyers’ are playing at the Wachovia Center. Expect traffic and parking problems! Surprised I haven’t gotten an email from the Phillies about it yet.

Hey Todd,

I heard on the radio that the Phillies are going to do everything they can to get this game in. Can you keep us updated on whether they are going to start the game off with a delay or play until the rain gets really bad for those of us attending the game tonight. The Doppler radar doesn’t look good but I think after 9 or 10 or so the chance of rain starts to drop, so anything you hear about delays or such would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

The Yanks have already postponed their game tonight. Doesn’t look good for getting the game in. Too bad they cant play here, it’s sunny, warm and beautiful out. Oh well, its 110 in the shade in August so I guess it evens out

If they play tonight, it will be like Game 5, Part 1, of the WS!

I know they want to get the game in, since SD won’t be here anymore this season. We’ll be out there the beginning of June. Maybe they can get in a doubleheader. Of course, that doesn’t help Phillies fans with tix to tonight’s game! They’ll offer tix to another home game, but good seats for all games are going fast.

Once again, Pat Gillick deserves some credit for bringing Ibanez to Philly. He’s not the GM, but he pushed hard for Raul because of a year they were together in Seattle.
-Mark
http://philliesperspective.mlblogs.com

I could be wrong, but I think if the game is canceled, it’ll have to be made up the next time the Padres come out this direction. On July 23, the Padres are off before playing the Nats in Washington and the Phils are at home with a day off between the Cubs and Cards series. That would be a killer schedule for both teams to endure! There’s no way the Phils are going to give that home game away, even if it means waiting until October to play it.

erichh1–see El Zorro’s comment on same idea. There is a rule regarding how many games a team can play without a day off.

http://www.accuweather.com/radar-large.asp?partner=accuweather&traveler=0&zipChg=1&site=PA_&type=SIR&anim=1&level=state&large=1

It looks like the wort of it will be gone by game time. And, if necessary, the game will never be made up in SD. I’ve never heard of that happening.

And they could call it after 5, to make it *official*.

It appears that we will continue to rehash old business by constantly comparing what Ibanez is doing for us now versus what Burrell did for us in the past. I don’t have a problem with Ibanez and I don’t have a problem with the fact that he’s producing. If we signed Manny, I would be happy with his production. I have been a Phillie’s fan since the early 60′s and all I want them to do is win.

I’m annoyed at the way Pat was run out of town, but that’s now water over the dam. Both players have to adjust. Time will tell if it was a good move. I believe in a certain degree of loyalty. I’ve run enough businesses to know that any organization has a certain amount of loyalty to any employee if they produce.

I think this team needs to start being concerned about employees that were paid other monies of mega proportions and their production or lack there of.

Let’s evaluate the whole thing at the end of the season.

I think stating that Pat Burrell was ‘run out of town’ is a bit harsh. The Phillies did offer him a contract during the season last year, for far more money than he ended up with in Tampa, and he was determined to enter free agency. Once that happened, the Phillies were not going to get into a bidding war for his services and began to look elsewhere. Loyalty goes both ways.
I think, money notwithstanding, the Phillies got the better of the deal with Ibanez because of his consistency. JMO.

It was reported that in late October by the Baltimore newspaper and Ken Rosenthal that Burrell was offered a two year deal for 21 mil. Rosenthal didn’t say this, he reported that the Baltimore paper said this. I watched this subject closely and nobody ever confirmed that it was a formal offer, in fact Jayson Stark reported on ESPN on November 20th that there was no formal offer and that that the two sides talked informally about a contract after the series but nothing concrete. In fact on that same day, Nov 20, Todd reported that the Phillies appear willing to explore other options before entering serious discussions with him. Pat also was not offered arbitration. You can accept or turn down a formal offer when it IS one. I stand by my statement. They had NO intention of ever re-signing him. This was more about someone wanting to do a nice thing for Gillick who was an Ibanez fan. Don’t spin it because of the short term outcome. Like I said, I have no issues with Ibanez. I want this team to do well.

I just don’t understand why there has been any concern or skepticism regarding Raul Ibanez. I have read his name many times over the years in box scores, usually with productive numbers in his column. Despite the World Series victory, the Phillies had a whole (often in the form of strike outs) in the middle of the line-up… now they have an RBI machine!

Pat saying he was never ‘formally’ offered a contract is kind of self-serving, considering what eventually happened. But whether or not they had any intention of signing him is far from the point. He was not ‘run out of town’. Not offering a player arbitration is not being ‘run out of town’. Arbitration gives you absolutely no control over what you will pay the player and, at the time they had to make the offer, there was no knowing what the market was going to be for corner outfielders. He was a guy coming off a contract the overpaid him at 14 million dollars. Who knows how an arbitrator will rule in that circumstance. They certainly didn’t want to pay him, or anybody for that matter, that much money going forward. Another circumstance of signing Pat is that he would become a 10/5 guy and they would never be able to trade him to the American League, where he certainly belongs. It was win/win in the end, IMO.

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