Posts Tagged ‘Raul Ibanez’

Byrd On Pace For (Slightly) Historic Season

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Mon, August 18, 2014 07:00 AM Comments: 17

Marlon+Byrd+Philadelphia+Phillies+v+Texas+Gey0d7AmFRKlIn this forgettable string of baseball games that we are calling the 2014 Phillies season, there is not a single thing we could look at and say “yeah, I’m going to remember this for years and years”. However, things aren’t all bad. The bullpen has been surprisingly strong, and a few hitters have been swinging the bat well–particularly the gentlemen that patrols right field for the Phils.

Marlon Byrd has been one of the most consistent offensive players on the Phillies in 2014, and he’s 36 years old.

Let’s go back to last November. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. signed Byrd to a 2-year contract, and, at the time received a load of criticism. The Phillies needed outfield help, and there were guys like Nelson Cruz still available.

He leads the team in home runs and slugging, and is 2nd on the team in OPS, doubles, and RBI.

He has missed just two(!) of 124 games this season. He’s slashing–at the time of writing this post–.270/.320/.473, has hit 22 home runs, and has 70 RBIs. By the end of the year, he’ll likely have somewhere around 28 home runs and 90 RBI.  A season with those numbers, at his age, would be among the best seasons all time for the Phillies.

The last time we saw something like this was in 2009 when Raul Ibanez had a monster season offensively. He hit 34 home runs and collected 93 RBI that year, when he was 37. Prior to that, we haven’t seen anything like this since Hall-Of-Famer Mike Schmidt had back-to-back years of 35+ home runs and 113+ RBI in 1986 and 1987. Beyond Ibanez and Schmidt, the only other player in Phils history to reach 28 home runs and 90 RBI at age 36 or older was Cy Williams in 1927.

That’s three players, one of which is an all-time great. If Byrd can manage to tally 6 more home runs and 20 more RBI in the final month and a half of the season, which should be easily attainable at his current pace, he’ll join them.  And if he does (or even if he doesn’t), it’ll go down as one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dreadful season for the Phillies.



Hot Stove: Ross to Arizona, Phils Interested In Ibanez

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sat, December 22, 2012 12:54 PM Comments: 69

Ross has signed a three-year pact with Arizona. Photo: AP

Ross Signs with Arizona

Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News is reporting that Cody Ross has agreed to a three-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, further limiting the opportunities for the Phillies to upgrade their outfield production.Ten days ago, our Eric Seidman explained why the price tag for Ross just would not match the upgrade value he would provide in the Phillies outfield. Now, fans no longer have to discuss that question.

Phils Interested in Ibanez Reunion?

Somewhat surprisingly, the Phillies are linked to a reunion with outfielder Raul Ibanez according to George King of the New York Post. In 425 plate appearances for the Yankees in 2012, Ibanez posted .240/.308/.453 line with 19 HRs. Jim Salisbury of CSN quoted Ruben Amaro yesterday, citing a need for a productive, right-handed bat. Ibanez is not right-handed and it can be argued that he is no longer productive, but 2012′s postseason hero could add some value in a bench role for the Phillies in 2013 at age 41. King notes that the Mariners have intensified their pursuit of Ibanez in what would be a reunion in its own right.

Hairston Looking For “Significant” Raise

Buster Olney of ESPN reported today that Scott Hairston is looking for a “significant” raise from last year’s $1.1 million he earned as a Met. Hairston fits the Phillies’ outfield need and was suggested by our Eric Seidman as a cheaper, just-as-productive alternative to Cody Ross. Salisbury reported yesterday that the Phillies have increased interest in Hairston, who turns 33 next year, and posted a .286/.317/.550 line with 11 HRs against lefties last year while playing about league average defense in the corner outfield positions.


Hot Stove: Berkman, Hamilton as Fall Back Options?

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, November 19, 2012 06:17 PM Comments: 20

According to national beat writers, the Phillies preference is Bourn, Upton, followed by Hamilton. Photo: AP

UPDATE, 7:18 PM: Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle has reported the Phillies are in “tire-kicking” mode with Lance Berkman. The Astros were the only team known to be in contact with the Big Puma previous to today about a possible return to Houston. Berkman missed time last season with two knee surgeries but was a key contributor to the 2011 World Series Champion Cardinals. He has said recently that in order to return, he wants to be paid like a three-hole hitter and that he would give the Astros a discount. For the price of a three-hole hitter, I’d pass on Puma.


The biggest news today from the Hot Stove is that, per Jon Heyman, the Phillies view Josh Hamilton as a fall-back option in the event they don’t sign Michael Bourn or B.J. Upton. Heyman described the market for Hamilton as a “bona fide mysetery market”, with the Mariners out, the Orioles and Brewers on the periphery, and the Rangers, Braves, Phillies, and Red Sox having the strongest interest.

In an Insider-Only piece yesterday, Buster Olney believes the Phillies may start the dominoes going in the center field market. He had a pretty comprehensive piece about the Phillies’ center field targets, but if you have been following our Hot Stove coverage, including our new mailbag feature, a lot of that information would look very familiar. In short, Olney states: Bourn is good lead-off fit but is too expensive, Hamilton’s power translates well but is another lefty and has a great deal of off-the-field issues, Upton is probably the best fit but is a case of never reaching his believed potential and may be too expensive, Victorino is a really good fit but would not be seen as something new or fresh by the fan base, and Pagan would be a nice add but may be a beneficiary of teams spending early, often, and way too much this year. Additionally, Olney has a really nice piece about the current market, which is required reading for this year’s Hot Stove followers. Continue reading Hot Stove: Berkman, Hamilton as Fall Back Options?


Old Friend Raul Deserves Props

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, October 11, 2012 08:36 AM Comments: 25

Raul came up huge last night. (AP)

Maybe it didn’t work out the way we all wanted it to during his tenure here in Philadelphia. After all, Raul Ibanez was paid over $30 million and had his moments, but fell short of the lofty expectations that come with such a contract. Last night in the Bronx, in a most-improbable situation, Rauuuuuuul pulled through for his team, the New York Yankees.

Pinch-hitting for Alex Rodriguez, the first time that’s ever happened in a postseason game, Ibanez went yard in the ninth inning, and again in the 12th to push the Yankees past the Orioles, 3-2. Ibanez also became the first player in postseason history to hit a home run in the ninth and a home run in extra innings in the same game. It has been another up and down season for Ibanez, but one that has hit its peak at the right moment.

During the regular year, Ibanez hit .240, slugged 19 homers, knocked in 62 runs, and was your basic league-average player with a 0.3 WAR. It mirrors his contributions to the Phillies in the three seasons he was here, save for a large chunk of his first season, one in which he hit 34 home runs and knocked in 93. But for one night, even though he plays for the Evil Empire, Raul deserves some props down here in Philly.

Continue reading Old Friend Raul Deserves Props


Mayberry Should Hope for Endless Summer

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, September 06, 2012 04:49 PM Comments: 18

Call me, Mayberry? (MLB)

Heading into 2012, a lot of hope was placed on John Mayberry Jr. to fill the hole in left field. After being recalled on July 5, 2011, Junior was a very productive player, hitting .301/.358/.607 with 12 HRs in 179 PA primarily against left-handed pitching. Mayberry was the perfect compliment to an aging Raul Ibanez in left down the stretch and helped the Phillies cruise to their fifth straight division title.

In Spring Training 2012, however, Mayberry struggled. Hitting a paltry .203/.259/.304 line, Mayberry seemingly relinquished an opportunity to play everyday to Juan Pierre. Mayberry received 258 PA through July 31, hitting just .235/.275/.391 with 8 HRs. Mayberry was receiving playing time more like a super-sub than a starter, playing 16 games at two or more positions, and coming off of the bench in 35 of his 93 appearances in 101 Phillies’ games. After trades sent Shane Victorino to LA and Hunter Pence to San Francisco, Mayberry, almost by default, became the everyday center fielder. He has very quietly delivered and is a big reason the Phillies have been much improved in the second half.

Continue reading Mayberry Should Hope for Endless Summer


The Impact of Chase Utley

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, June 27, 2012 08:18 AM Comments: 28

Chase Utley, #21, went 2-5 with a HR in his rehab appearance for LV yesterday. Photo by Ian Riccaboni

I arrived yesterday at Coca Cola Park well before game time. I introduced myself to Jeff Skversky of Channel 6 ABC and Comcast SportsNet’s Leslie Gudel. Their news trucks were piled up at the front gate near the ever-growing piles of fans. I’ve been to IronPigs games since the beginning and saw Raul Ibanez, Pedro Martinez, and Brad Lidge rehab here. This was much different.

While some fans were at the park early for the John Mayberry Jr. bobblehead giveaway, about 20 were lining the right field fence. No, not the colorful, filled-with-ads fence located at the back of the park but rather the large, black fence that establishes the boundaries of the park. They were trying to get a glimpse of Chase Utley. Continue reading The Impact of Chase Utley


Writer’s Roundtable: Grading Ruben Amaro Jr.

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Thu, May 31, 2012 07:00 AM Comments: 80

Amaro gets his guys. But at what cost? (Photo: SI.com)

Right now is a critical time in the Ruben Amaro Jr. era in Philadelphia. His team is underachieving and in last place, the injuries are piling up and the best player on the Phillies’ roster will be absent for the next 6-to-8 weeks.

When grading his time here as the Phillies GM, we made sure we didn’t fall into the trap of factoring in things that weren’t under his control and looked at the complete picture. So here’s how we at Phillies Nation grade Amaro:

Corey Seidman: I’d give Amaro a B-.

He’s done a lot, but he’s had a ton of resources that every GM would give a kidney to have. He’s put himself in a position where there just aren’t too many fixes to make. You have to hope Howard, Utley and Halladay all get through their current conditions and age relatively well. Its tough.

Amaro took risks and was aggressive. He built a team that had enormous success from 2007-11. I’ll let the others break down each move, but Amaro’s done mostly well with trades and not too well with contracts.

Pat Gallen: I won’t put a letter grade on Ruben Amaro’s tenure a GM of the Phillies, but I will say this – it has been a ride. He acquires the best pitcher in baseball (Roy Halladay) and gets his “white whale” but deals Cliff Lee in the process.

He gets Hunter Pence from Houston, but gives up a ton of minor league talent in the process.

Amaro also gave odd contracts to Joe Blanton, Ryan Howard, and Jonathan Papelbon. (Yes, I know Papelbon has been lights out, but that’s still a ton of money for a 3-out guy, no matter how you look at it).

Continue reading Writer’s Roundtable: Grading Ruben Amaro Jr.


Writer’s Roundtable, Part 1: Press Panic

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, March 27, 2012 07:50 AM Comments: 94

The Big Piece is among Phillies Nation's biggest concerns.

The grass is getting greener, the birds are retreating back to the Northeast, and my allergies are flaring up; these are, of course, the telltale signs of baseball’s return. The comments on both the blog and our Facebook page have been heating up with both optimism for the 2012 season but also some legitimate concerns for the Fightins. The Phillies Nation crew got together and put together the top reasons to panic as well as the top reasons to have faith in the Phils, or press on. Feel free to take a look at ours and add in reasons of your own!

Today, we panic!

Time to Hit the Panic Button

Who will step up offensively? – Pat Gallen, Editor-in-Chief

It’s an honest, legitimate question – and I don’t know that there is an easy answer. No Chase Utley for the foreseeable future; no Ryan Howard ’til who knows when. Who will be asked to do more than usual?

Start at the top with Jimmy Rollins – he will need to be a superior table-setter every single day. There is really no choice. Shane Victorino cannot regress; he must continue to be one the Swiss Army Knife of this lineup. And Hunter Pence will have to put the offense on his back at times. But beyond that, it is anyone’s guess as to who will be the person to step up large. If they can’t find that person, then runs will be hard to come by and the pitching staff will have to be near perfect.

Continue reading Writer’s Roundtable, Part 1: Press Panic


Clearwater Notes: Ibanez, Contreras, Howard

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, February 20, 2012 07:58 PM Comments: 23

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.


Report: Amaro Tried to Flip Blanton for Burnett

Posted by Corey Seidman, Mon, February 20, 2012 01:58 AM Comments: 36

The Phillies tried to unload Blanton to get Burnett. (AP)

Option A: One year of Joe Blanton for $10.5 million
Option B: Two years of A.J. Burnett for $13 million

There is no way you’re choosing Option A, and that is why despite his disappointments and shortcomings Burnett would have made the Phillies better over the next two seasons.

In order to acquire Burnett — as tweeted by Buster Olney Sunday night — Ruben Amaro was reportedly attempting to trade Blanton to the Angels for Bobby Abreu (gasp!), before trading Abreu back to the Yankees for Burnett.

The salaries of Blanton and Abreu nearly match up — Abreu is due $9 million in 2012 — meaning that the Phillies likely wouldn’t have had to eat much, if any, salary in the proposed deal.

Continue reading Report: Amaro Tried to Flip Blanton for Burnett

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