Results tagged ‘ Raul Ibanez ’

The Market Is Open

This isn’t big news, but 148 players became free agents this morning. Free agents are eligible to sign with any team beginning at 12:01 a.m.  Thursday.

The Phillies have seven free agents:

  • Ross Gload
  • Raul Ibanez
  • Brad Lidge
  • Ryan Madson
  • Roy Oswalt
  • Jimmy Rollins
  • Brian Schneider

10 Mas

A few notes from tonight’s 11-6 victory over the Cardinals in Game 1 of the NLDS:

  • Roy Halladay is 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in four postseason starts. He retired 21 consecutive batters to finish the game.
  • Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino could make a friendly postseason wager. Howard passed Victorino as the franchise’s all-time postseason RBI leader with 31. Victorino has 30. Howard had no homers and no RBIs in last year’s postseason, so it’s good for him to put those questions behind him.
  • Raul Ibanez had big homer in the sixth. He hit .245 with 20 homers and 84 RBIs this season. Let’s pose this question: Would you bring back Ibanez on a one-year deal next season? Or are you comfortable enough with Domonic Brown and John Mayberry Jr. in left field in 2012? Something to think about.
  • The Phillies are 15-7 in Game 1s.
  • The Phillies tied a postseason record with 14 hits. They had 14 in the Game 2 of the 1980 NLCS, Game 3 of the 1980 World Series and Game 4 of the 1993 World Series.
  • Mike Stutes was frustrated with his effort tonight. He said he wasn’t as aggressive as he normally is. He expects that to change the next time he pitches.
  • Carlos Ruiz wrote “10 mas” on the dry erase board in the center of the Phillies clubhouse. Of course, “10 mas” translates to 10 more. I’m sure you can figure out what that means.

Should Utley Hit Third Against Lefties?

Chase Utley is 4-for-9 in his last two games, which could be a sign he is coming out of a funk that has lasted for more than a month.

The Phillies hope so.

Since Utley reached a season-high .290 average on Aug. 1, he has hit just .221 with a .280 on-base percentage and a .329 slugging percentage. He has just nine RBIs in 36 games, which is alarming considering he has been hitting third in a lineup that is tied for second in the National League in scoring in that stretch.

Utley’s .771 OPS is easily his worst since he became the Phillies’ everyday second baseman in 2005:

  • 2005: .915
  • 2006: 906
  • 2007: .976
  • 2008: .915
  • 2009: .905
  • 2010: .832
  • 2011: .771

“I think his injuries over the last two or three years have been real serious,” Charlie Manuel said following tonight’s 4-3 loss to St. Louis. “He’s not where he used to be, but I think he’s due to get hot. I think somewhere along the line … I think he’s due to have a little run where he’s hitting the ball good. Hopefully we can get him there before the playoffs start.”

But what if he doesn’t get hot? Utley is hitting .192/.286/.323 against left-handers compared to .289/.365/.474 against right-handers. Manuel already is using a platoon in left field with Raul Ibanez and John Mayberry Jr. because he’s taking advantage of his talent to put the best lineup on the field. So why not move Utley out of the No. 3 hole against left-handers and replace him with Hunter Pence? Pence is hitting .313/.400/.597 against left-handers.

“I don’t know,” said Manuel, asked if he would move Utley out of the No. 3 spot. “It’s hard to say. I don’t like to commit to nothing. Why should I sit here and say something? I might do anything. I don’t know.”

Of course, where would you hit Utley then? Normally, I’d say hit him second because he’s such a high on-base percentage guy, but he’s not getting on base against left-handers. You could hit him fifth. But what’s two spots in the order really going to do? Maybe nothing, but the higher you hit in the order the more plate appearances you get. It could mean just one extra at-bat for Pence in one game against a left-hander, which could mean the difference between a rally or runners left on base. One or two more big hits in last year’s NLCS and the Phillies quite possibly beat the Giants.

Something to think about.

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Worley, Ibanez and the Game 1 Starter

A quick note from last night’s victory over the Braves:

  • The Phillies have won 14 consecutive Vance Worley starts. The last team to win 14 or more consecutive starts by a pitcher was the St. Louis Cardinals, who won 17 consecutive Chris Carpenter starts in 2005.

In case you were wondering:

  • Baseball Prospectus estimates the Phillies have a 100 percent chance of making the playoffs.  It breaks down like this: a 99.9 percent chance of winning the division and a 0.1 percent chance of winning the wild card. Yeah, that sounds about right.
  • Raul Ibanez had a good night last night. I like the idea of Ibanez and John Mayberry Jr. platooning the rest of the season and into the postseason. Ibanez is hitting .262/.314/.440 against right-handers and .198/.223/.362 against left-handers, while Mayberry is hitting .286/.341/.607 against left-handers and .244/.320/.458 against right-handers. But maybe the location of the game and not just the pitcher should influence Charlie Manuel‘s lineup. Ibanez is hitting .292/.332/.525 at home and .197/.223/.362 on the road. For whatever reason, Ibanez has been a much better player at Citizens Bank Park. Maybe it’s the “Rauuuuuuuuuul” chants, but it’s something to consider once October rolls around.
  • Lot of people have been asking me about the postseason rotation. There’s no debate to me. If everybody is rested, healthy and can be lined up the way the Phillies want to line them up it looks like this: Game 1 is Roy Halladay, Game 2 is Cliff Lee, Game 3 is Cole Hamels and Game 4 is Roy Oswalt. Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball, so I start him in Game 1, even if Lee is hot. Why? Because Halladay is pretty good, too. He did throw a no-hitter in last year’s playoffs. He did win the Cy Young. If he wins Game 1 and Lee is pitching like he has been, Lee will put his foot on the throat of the other team in Game 2. Or if Halladay somehow loses Game 1, then Lee will even the series. Really, there’s no wrong way to go, but that’s the way I go. And I go with Oswalt because of his pedigree. Yes, Worley has pitched great, but I like Oswalt coming up big in the postseason. Got to go with your aces.

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Hamels to the DL

The Phillies placed Cole Hamels on the 15-day disabled list with left shoulder inflammation.

Reason to panic?

It doesn’t seem to be, although we’ll learn more later. The move is retroactive to Aug. 13 and the Phillies said Hamels is scheduled to start Monday against the Reds in Cincinnati. He had been scheduled to pitch Friday. So the fact Hamels is scheduled to pitch Monday leads me to believe they made the move because Raul Ibanez is hurting (sore left groin) and there is some uncertainty surrounding Placido Polanco‘s health (sports hernia), even though Polanco said he felt fine last night. The Phillies essentially have been playing a man short, so they probably figured they could add a guy through the weekend and activate Hamels later.

The Phillies recalled Pete Orr to take Hamels’ palce.

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Ibanez’s Big Month

So yesterday I tweeted Raul Ibanez leads Major League Baseball with 25 RBIs in 21 games from July 5-31.

Just an interesting stat, nothing more.

Just mentioned it because he’s been pretty productive over the last few weeks.

But then I got a reply from somebody saying, “Are we using RBIs to prove worth? Is this 1972?”

Really, dude? I’m not saying Ibanez is the world’s greatest leftfielder. I’m not saying he should be National League MVP. I’m only saying, “Hey, Ibanez has knocked in a lot of runs this month. In fact, he’s knocked in more runs than anybody else in baseball. I think Phillies fans might find that interesting.”

That’s it.

But while I’m thinking about it, here are a few more stats for Ibanez from July 5-31:

  • His .600 slugging percentage is tied for 10th in baseball.
  • His six go-ahead RBIs are tied for fifth.
  • His five game-winning RBIs are tied for first.
  • His .944 OPS is 22nd out of 166 players.

Ibanez has hit .247 with 21 doubles, one triple, 16 homers, 59 RBIs, a .293 on-base percentage and a .434 slugging percentage this season. His .728 OPS ranks 13th out of 17 qualifying leftfielders in baseball. But Ibanez has hit .277 with 19 doubles, one triple, 15 homers, 49 RBIs, a .312 on-base percentage and a .505 slugging percentage since his 0-for-35 slump ended in May. His .817 OPS in that span ranks 53rd out of 156 qualifying players and second among nine qualifying leftfielders.

He’s been pretty productive since early May.

That’s all I’m saying, dude.

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Just Another Day for Martinez

From Elias Sports Bureau: Michael Martinez broke a 2-2 tie with a two-run, ninth-inning double last night. Martinez has hits in each of his last four at-bats in Late Inning Pressure Situations (all this month) and his 11 RBIs in July ties him with Wilson Ramos for second-most among rookies. Only Freddie Freeman (16) has more.

Some other notes:

  • Martinez has hit .298 (11-for-37) with one double, one triple, one home run and 11 RBIs in 10 games this month, earning more playing time with third baseman Placido Polanco on the disabled list with lower back inflammation.
  • Only Raul Ibanez (14) and John Mayberry Jr. (12) have more RBIs for the Phillies this month than Martinez.
  • Jason Grilli has signed with the Pirates, announcing the move on Twitter. He had an out-clause in his contract, allowing him to sign with another team if another team offered him a big-league deal. The Phillies believed they had better options than him, so released him.

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Fewer Homers, More Wins

The Phillies crushed the Marlins last night, 14-2, and Raul Ibanez capped the scoring with his 10th homer of the season.

The Phillies have two players — Ryan Howard (18) and Ibanez — with 10 or more homers entering the All-Star break. If Shane Victorino, who has nine homers, does not play before the break, or if he plays and does not hit a home run, the Phillies will have only two players with 10 or more homers at the break for the first time since 2002:

  • 2010: Ryan Howard (17), Shane Victorino (14), Jayson Werth (13) and Chase Utley (11).
  • 2009: Howard (22), Raul Ibanez (22), Utley (20) and Werth (20).
  • 2008: Howard (28), Utley (25), Pat Burrell (23), Pedro Feliz (12) and Werth (12)
  • 2007: Howard (21), Jimmy Rollins (16), Utley (15), Burrell (11), Aaron Rowand (11) and Victorino (11).
  • 2006: Howard (28), Burrell (19) and Utley (16).
  • 2005: Bobby Abreu (18), Burrell (17) and Utley (11).
  • 2004: Jim Thome (28), Abreu (18), Burrell (15), David Bell (12) and Mike Lieberthal (11).
  • 2003: Thome (23), Abreu (14) and Burrell (12).
  • 2002: Burrell (22) and Scott Rolen (13).

Of course, on the flip side, the Phillies have two pitchers with 10 or more wins at the break — Roy Halladay (11) and Cole Hamels (10) — for the first time since 2003, when Kevin Millwood and Randy Wolf each had 10 wins. Now, if Cliff Lee can pick up his 10th win of the season Saturday, the Phillies will have three 10-game winners at the break for the first time since … ever. Well, I can only go as far back as 1950 with Stats Pass, but the Phillies were pretty awful from the first All-Star Game in 1933 through 1949. In fact, the Phillies only had six pitchers make the All-Star Game in that span.

What does this all mean? Not sure. I just know it took me a long time to look up.

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Victorino Activated, Mayberry Optioned

Earlier this week I thought the Phillies might place Michael Martinez on waivers to make room for Shane Victorino, but it became more obvious they would option John Mayberry Jr. instead.

It became official today.

I’m not in Pittsburgh this weekend, but I’m guessing the reasoning is close to what I wrote yesterday: Mayberry will get very little playing time with Raul Ibanez in left field, Victorino in center field and Domonic Brown and Ben Francisco in right field. Mayberry might be the team’ second-best defensive outfielder (and one of the team’s better runners, too), but he has hit just .187 with three doubles, two homers and nine RBIs since April. He also has hit just .172 against left-handers in that stretch, which hurts his case to platoon in left or right field. Yes, Francisco has struggled. He has hit just .192 against left-handers this season. But here is the reality of the situation: Francisco is making $1.175 million. If Mayberry were hitting .300 against left-handers, I think it would have been a much more difficult decision. But unfortunately for Mayberry, his lack of production at the plate over the last month hurt him.

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Nice Guys: Thome, Ibanez, Sweeney

Got an e-mail from the folks at Sports Illustrated. In its latest player poll, current or former Phillies were named the three nicest guys in baseball. I couldn’t agree more about Thome. The guy is as genuine as they come. Ibanez is unfailingly polite. Good guy. Sweeney is a hugger.

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