Clearwater Notes: Ibanez, Contreras, Howard

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, February 20, 2012 07:58 PM | Comments: 23
2012 Spring Training, Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

Big Truck hopes he's fixed and ready to go. (AP)


By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard the news. Raul Ibanez has moved on to the New York Yankees, inking a one-year deal worth $1.1 million. Echoing the post I put up on the Phillies Nation facebook page today, we wish him the absolute best.

It wasn’t always a smooth ride for Raul here in Philadelphia, but we know one thing; he was a tireless worker and an ultimate competitor. No matter what you thought of him on the field, off the field he was a perfect role model and citizen. Sure, he had his ups and downs – more downs than ups over the course of his three-year contract – but he fought everyday, every at-bat like it was his last.

We thank him for three seasons of being the consummate professional, regardless of the results. Best of luck to Raul in New York.


According to multiple outlets in Florida, Jose Contreras will throw off a mound tomorrow. It will be the first time he attempts that toss since offseason elbow surgery. The Phillies are still hoping they can return Contreras to the 8th inning role that he dominated in at times last season.

At 40, you wonder what he has left in the tank. We will find out soon if he can take the next step forward.


According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Ryan Howard did some jogging and fielded ground balls today in Clearwater. He has also been swinging in the cages as he works his way back from achillies tendon surgery during the offseason. Any activity this early in Spring Training is an excellent sign that he’s on the right path to recovery.

(Video was taken by Ryan Lawrence of the Delco Times)


On Monday night, Jay Floyd will speak to Justin De Fratus as he gives his thoughts on the beginning of Spring Training from Clearwater. Look for more blog posts from De Fratus as he tries to win a big league job in the Phillies bullpen. He’ll undoubtedly have some cool insider information and we’re looking forward to it.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1714 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Good luck in Yankee Stadium, Raul.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 2005 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    Will miss Raul, sure, I was a dissenter and for good reason.
    And I don’t think I could go as far as you did Pat saying there were more ups than downs in his tenure here but, there were some great moments.
    The first 1/2 of 2009, he was the MVP above anyone else. Always came through in the clutch, close to the top of the league in rbi, hr, slugging, obp –
    Moments like the Sunday game last year where his hr in the bot of the 10th won the game (he hit one earlier) – by the way, it was my grandson’s first ballgame and we both wore our Raul shirts –
    Moments to cherish as a Phillies fan, thanks Raul. Best of luck with the Yanks and, hope to see you come October!

    • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      I actually meant for that to say more downs than ups. I’m an idiot.

    • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      Moral: don’t write a story while doing 50 other things.

      • Posts: 0 George

        Pat, I’ve always found it not just hard, but completely impossible to write while holding a guitar. Do you strum with a pen in your hand? Seems to me you’d wear out a lot of pens that way, and it wouldn’t do much good to a musical instrument. I’ve seen guys play trumpet with one hand only, which would leave the other one free to hold your pen or whatever. Perhaps you should try that.

  • Posts: 2897 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Pat, uhhhhh….you DID write “more downs than ups”

    • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      Yeah, it was edited after I saw Brooks comment. I had it the wrong way.

  • Posts: 5449 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    The right field fence in Yankee stadium is 15 feet shorter than CBP, Raul’s gotta like that. Classy move with the arbitration thing, and now the Phils get a supplementary pick for him.

    • Posts: 452 Ian Riccaboni

      Avatar of Ian Riccaboni

      Great move by Raul to handshake decline arbitration when he could have cleaned up. He should do well playing against only righties with a super short right field porch next year. Not a Yankees fan but I’ll follow Raul for sure.

  • Posts: 0 Sherry W

    I’m happy the last game I saw him he got in a few RBIs (NLDS game 1). I loved him in Seattle and I wish him well in NY.

  • Posts: 892 schmenkman

    Avatar of schmenkman

    Best of luck, Raul.

    We saw the tail end of what was a noteworthy decade, after a slow start to his career. Here’s where he ranks in the history of baseball among players in their 30s (i.e. age 30 through 39 seasons):

    - 7th in doubles
    - 8th in RBIs

    That’s partly because he’s also 11th in plate appearances, but impressive nevertheless considering the hundreds of great players that he passed.

    More here: http://www.thegoodphight.com/2011/10/19/2500022/raul-things-part-2-thirtysomething-superstar

  • Posts: 81 Tom

    Avatar of Tom

    My apologies to everyone who posts here, but I can’t wish any player good luck after he joins the Yankees. Raul was a positive signing for about 2-3 months until he injured his groin in ’09 and decided to stop being an opposite field & .300+ hitter like his was in Seattle! Instead he became a “hit a ground ball to 2nd base” hitter! I’m sure that will continue with the lure of the short porch in RF at yankee stadium! No disrespect to Raul as a person, but I’m personally glad that he is gone! He’s a bust as far as I’m concerned based upon what I thought that we were getting! As one of my good friends who is unfortunately a yankees fan said to me when he hear about this signing today, “Since when do the yankees sign 39-year old, washed-up, Phillies’ rejects!!” Couldn’t have said it better myself!

    • Posts: 892 schmenkman

      Avatar of schmenkman

      I don’t get the Yankees hate. To me they’re just another AL team. Other than the 2009 WS, when they were the better team anyway, the only connection with the Phillies is that, along with the Red Sox, they make up the “3 empires” at the top of the current baseball world.

      And what’s this “he decided to stop being an opposite field & .300+ hitter”?

      He’s been a streaky hitter throughout his career. It so happens he began his time with the Phillies with a hot streak. Are you saying his decline was not due to injuries, or age, but because he decided to change his approach? Ludicrous.

      By the way, “bust” is a relative term — over the past 3 years:

      Burrell: .235/.335/.413 (.748 OPS, 103 OPS+), 41 HR, 149 RBI
      Ibanez: .264/.329/.469 (.798 OPS, 111 OPS+), 70 HR, 260 RBI

      • Posts: 5449 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        Yeah, ha- Raul was just sitting having a beer one night and said to himself. This is BS, why would I want to continue doing what makes me successful, hitting to the opposite field and hitting .300. Wouldn’t it be more fun to hit .240? That’s it, I’ve decided!

  • Posts: 556 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    i like to add my wishes to Raul for success with Yankees. I have read a lot of unfair criticism here in the past few years regarding his play in the field. Never mind the injuries and playing hurt that affected his hitting. He was decent in the OF and at times surprised a few whiners here when he made some outstanding catches.

    I read last week about the Yankees’ interest in Raul and the need to fill a vacancy in the DH role. Raul must be thrilled to put on that iconic pinstripe uniform this Spring. With adjustment in his new role, I’m certain he will be a positive factor for the team on and off the field.

    • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

      Well, he did screw up a fairly catchable flyball in the sixth inning of game one of the 2010 NLCS. That was a turning point in the game, and possibly the series. If the Phillies would have won that first game, they would probably have ended up in their third straight WS. I’d rate his defense as somewhat less than decent.

  • Posts: 0 Terry Harmon

    All the Yankees fans are applauding this move by Cashman, some are proclaiming that Raul will knock 30 out this year – because of the short porch in right. They’ll quickly find out what we saw for the past 2 and a half seasons… he can no longer catch up to an outside fastball.
    On Ryan – unless he’s going for the whole Babe Ruth look… he better get off the Vicente Padilla diet.

  • Posts: 0 Terry Harmon

    The headline for the Ryan Howard video should be… “Fat Tuesday.”

    • Posts: 0 George

      Ryan Howard has never been what you would call “slim.” He’s also had very little chance to get out and run or carry around heavy weights lately, both of which have a tendency to remove a few pounds. In fact, for quite a while, he couldn’t even walk.

      I say, give him a break.

  • Posts: 0 Bernadette

    I am sad to see him go. Class Act with the handshake deal with arbitration. He works hard in the off season keepong himself in shape and healthy. My seats in left field won’t seem the same. Not a Yankee fan but will watch some games and maybe go catch a couple games to watch him play. He looks better in our Philies Red

  • Posts: 1110 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    I’m very sad to see him go, but I understand that it wouldn’t have made any sense for us to keep him. He has the potential to do a lot of good things in the part-time DH role for the Yankees, so best of luck to him. Oh and that extra pick.. classy!


  • Posts: 0 Tom

    After watching those videos…. looks like Spring Training has for the most part begun. Im very glad to see the bench players show up early… Ryan does look fat, but a winter with a bum leg will do that to you…. Probably could of eaten fat free tacos Ryan, either way hes still got alot of hard work ahead of him, so hes go time to get in shape. His hand eye looks decent, not a big limp in his jog. Impressive considering the type of injury. Most ppl are off their feet for 6 to 9 months. Already got tickets to 3 games…. CANT WAIT!!!! GO PHILLIES.

    Good Luck Raul

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