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Posts Tagged ‘Raul Ibanez’

Mayberry Freed in 2011

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, December 02, 2011 09:00 AM Comments: 7

PHOTO AP

Before the season began, a movement was underway. OK, I won’t go that far, however, I did have my hand in starting #FREEMAYBERRY via Twitter and Facebook. It was my way of saying we needed to see more of John Mayberry Jr.

While in Clearwater, I got the chance to talk with Mayberry, who told me he would be disappointed if he wasn’t on the opening day roster. Wowing the coaches with his power in Spring Training turned out to be enough to make the squad going into the 2011 season. He made his presence felt in game one of the season, finishing off the Phillies comeback over the Astros with a pinch-hit, game-winning RBI single. That was the start of a fantastic season for Mayberry.

Although he was never able to become the full-time starter in left field, Mayberry became part of a platoon with Raul Ibanez by midseason. He also played some first base with Ryan Howard out and some center field when Shane Victorino was on the disabled list.

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The Mulligan: Domonic Brown’s 2011 in Review

Posted by Michael Baumann, Wed, November 30, 2011 07:00 AM Comments: 46

We continue on with our 2011 Player Reviews with Domonic Brown.

This is a story of unfulfilled promise. Going into the season as the No. 4 prospect in the game, according to Baseball America, and coming off a season where he posted a .980 OPS between AA and AAA, Domonic Brown seemed poised to slide seamlessly into the right field void left by Jayson Werth.  The Phillies’ best offensive prospect since Ryan Howard, Brown looked set to do in the majors what he’d done at every level of minor league baseball: take his trebuchet launch of a swing and his howitzer throwing arm and bring those weapons to bear for no purpose other than to blast the opposition into oblivion.

Then the Domonator broke the hamate bone in his right hand on March 5, and everything seemed to go downhill from there. Brown didn’t get into the major league lineup until May 21. What’s worse, the broken hamate bone saps strength in the hand, and it usually takes a hitter months to recover his full power stroke. Brown, for his part, wasn’t particularly good, dialing in at exactly replacement level according to both Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, combining a .322 wOBA (not awful, but not exactly stellar for a corner outfielder) with pretty dreadful outfield defense, which, after 12 seasons of Pat Burrell and Raul Ibanez in left field, has apparently started to bother Phillies fans all of a sudden.

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Phils Would Be Thankful To Have Damon

Posted by Corey Seidman, Thu, November 24, 2011 01:05 PM Comments: 46

The Phillies are still in search of an outfield bat, according to Jim Salisbury, and they’d probably prefer a lefthanded hitter.

One of the players on Salisbury’s list of names to watch would be a perfect fit for this team in terms of production, personality and finances.

That player? Johnny David Damon.

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Phillies Offer Arbitration to Rollins, Madson, Ibanez

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, November 23, 2011 04:59 PM Comments: 78

Ibanez was offereed arb. But why?

In a bit of a head scratching move, the Phillies have offered salary arbitration to Raul Ibanez, meaning if he accepts, he could actually make more than the $12 million he made in 2011.

It was a foregone conclusion the Phillies would offer it to Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Madson. With the Jonathan Papelbon signing, the Phillies lose a first-round draft pick, but when Madson signs elsewhere, they will recoup one. Same goes for Jimmy; if he moves on, the Phillies get a pick either in the first round, or a sandwich pick.

The Ibanez offering, however, comes out of left field. Perhaps they do look at him as a fallback option if they can’t come to terms with another outfielder they are squiring on the open market. And perhaps Ibanez has already told the Phillies he will decline the option anyway, even if they do offer it. In that case, he’s doing the Phils a solid, and they will receive a supplemental pick when he goes elsewhere.

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Phils Would Be Unwise To Offer Oswalt Arbitration

Posted by Corey Seidman, Tue, November 01, 2011 09:00 AM Comments: 14

As divulged by MLB Trade Rumors Monday, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Madson and Roy Oswalt have been classified as Type A free agents, while Brad Lidge and Raul Ibanez garnered Type B titles.

Offering Roy Oswalt arbitration would be way too risky.

Type A free agents, if they are offered and decline arbitration, bring back two early draft picks if signed by another team. The top 15 teams in baseball surrender their first round pick and a sandwich pick (between first and second round) to the old team if they sign the free agent, while the bottom 15 teams give up their second round pick and a sandwich pick. So if the Phillies offer Ryan Madson arbitration and he declines then signs with the Nationals, the Phillies would get the Nats’ second-rounder and a sandwich pick. Make that first-rounder and sandwich pick, because the Nationals had the 15th best record. (Why did I have to pick the most confusing example?)

The Phillies will almost certainly offer arbitration to Rollins and Madson. If either accepts (which they won’t), they would be back with the Phillies next year for a salary that cannot be lower than 80 percent of last year’s figure or 70 percent of the figure from two years prior.

Neither player would accept arbitration because both Rollins and Madson are seeking long-term financial commitments. But how about Oswalt? Would the Phillies offer him arbitration?

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Dr. Strangeglove: On a Plan for Domonic Brown

Posted by Michael Baumann, Fri, October 14, 2011 03:38 PM Comments: 65

I wanted to say how nice it’s been to get along with the readership over the past few weeks, a state of affairs I’d chalk up to my being neither informative nor persuasive since the first week in September or so. Anyway, I wanted to get that out there, because I’m back to my old ways. I went into this offseason with almost no expectations. This offseason, my wish was really more that the Phillies do nothing rather than do something. I was prepared to make peace with whatever the Phillies did this offseason, provided the following things happened:

  1. The Phillies don’t offer arbitration to Raul Ibanez.
  2. The Phillies don’t sign any free agent reliever (including Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson) to any contract with a total value of more than $5 million.
  3. The Phillies commit to getting Domonic Brown 400 or more major league plate appearances in 2012, preferably as the every day left fielder, but at least in some sort of platoon arrangement with John Mayberry.

Then Ruben Amaro announced that the Phillies wanted to get Brown a full season at AAA before bringing him up to the majors. I was absolutely mystified by this decision, though, judging by Ruben Amaro’s bizarre insistence on giving anyone but Brown a chance to play at the major league level in 2011, I can’t say I was surprised. Ever since he refused to include Brown in any sort of trade for Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay back in 2009, Amaro has, like Hamlet tormenting Claudius, seemed to take some sort of perverse pleasure in treating the Phillies’ top hitting prospect since Chase Utley like a yo-yo, tossing and spinning, and otherwise screwing with Brown for no reason other than he can.

Maybe there’s some sort of plan for Brown that the public is not privy to, and this is part of it. Maybe he’s being kept in the minors because there’s a flaw in his game that the Phillies are aware of but has escaped the eye of the extremely astute talent evaluators at ESPN and Baseball America. If that’s the case, maybe he’s being hidden so as not to harm his trade value. But I find that hard to believe.

I think I actually want this more than 400 plate appearances for the Domonator: to know what, exactly, that plan is.

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Can the Phillies Offense Change?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, October 13, 2011 09:05 AM Comments: 44

PHOTO AP

When I was a kid, I fell in love with the long ball. Like everyone else, I was enamored with Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa back in 1998; the Summer of Baseball Love.

Well, the game ain’t the same, friends. More teams are manufacturing runs the old fashioned way. The Phillies are slow to change with the times.

It’s not really any fault of theirs, truthfully. Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez and others were all used to winning by playing a certain way. Swinging for a three-run homer was the plan four or five years ago. It’s how they made their coin. Just ask Shane Victorino; he might tell you that paydays are a little bigger when that HR number is larger. A guy who hits .280 with 17 homers might get paid more than a guy who hits .300 with 9 homers. A little pop goes a long way.

But now, the philosophy is clearly changing within the Phillies; or at least that’s what Ruben Amaro hopes will be the case. In what became a mission statement of sorts, Amaro challenged everyone in the organization to a revolution. Well, you know.

Easier said, Rube. Easier said. The question isn’t whether the Phillies need this philosophical restructuring when it comes to their offense; it’s quite apparent they do. The question is can the players be something they aren’t?

Amaro thinks that change can occur.

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How I Came to Know Incredulity

Posted by Michael Baumann, Wed, October 12, 2011 11:32 AM Comments: 41

It took me five days to write this post, so I want to take you back to Friday night.

I feel like I ought to explain how I came to be sitting alone in my bedroom, tears welling up in my eyes, listening to “Nearer My God to Thee” over and over on Spotify. If you’re reading this, you’ve most likely done whatever approximates, for you, sitting in your pajamas, mourning the passing of the most remarkable regular season Philadelphia has seen in a generation, all while listening to the song the band played while the Titanic went down.

If anyone has a better idea, I’m open to suggestions. The pain has hardly dulled in the interim.

What hurts is not so much that it’s over–that was likely to happen at some point, no matter the means. It’s not the possibility of not seeing Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Madson, Roy Oswalt, or Raul Ibanez put on red pinstripes ever again. Neither is it watching your franchise first baseman and cleanup hitter end this season with a weak groundout, then possibly end next season (for him at least) with a torn Achilles tendon, all on the same play. Or the pain of seeing your team lose, though as a 24-year-old, I really shouldn’t be moved to tears by a baseball tea m losing. But I am. I’m not counting down the days to next season. I’m not getting more amped up for Flyers hockey, or the Eagles, or Arsenal, or South Carolina, or any of the other teams I follow rabidly–that is to say, with about 2/3 the tenacity and emotion with which I follow the Phillies–or even looking forward to the rest of the MLB postseason.

Friday’s loss was a gut shot for two reasons: first, because this season represented a bread-and-circuses-type distraction that we all need from time to time. When your world is not a pleasant place to live in, sometimes you latch on to whatever is going right and give it undue importance–in this case, the Phillies. Now it’s over, three weeks early and without even a moment’s notice. Second, because as much as I’ve tried to be hyper-rational and prepare for the worst, it never actually occurred to me that the Phillies wouldn’t win the World SeriesContinue reading How I Came to Know Incredulity

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What To Do With Polanco…

Posted by Corey Seidman, Mon, October 10, 2011 10:00 PM Comments: 49

WIll Polly be around in 2012? (Photo AP)

Placido Polanco hit .398 in April with nine extra-base hits, then .243 the rest of the season with 10. His OPS was .972 at the end of April, then .591 the rest of the way. It only got worse in October, when Polanco went 2 for 19 with no walks, runs, or RBI and one rally-killing double play in the first inning of Game 2.

Polanco’s defense was unsurprisingly elite in 2011 – it passed both the eye test and the sabermetric test, as he ranked first in baseball with 14.0 runs saved – but he offered the Phillies very little in the way of offense. The need for more run production at third base became glaring in the playoffs when, batting seventh, Polanco fronted a 7-8 that reached base a combined three times in five games.

With one year remaining on a three-year, $18 million contract that made sense at the time, what do the Phillies do with Polanco? Can they enter the 2012 season with an injury-ravaged contact hitter who seldom makes solid contact anymore?

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NLDS Game 3: Phillies (1-1) at Cardinals (1-1)

Posted by Michael Baumann, Tue, October 04, 2011 04:00 PM Comments: 101

Philadelphia Phillies (1-1) at St. Louis Cardinals (1-1)

Jaime Garcia, LHP vs. Cole Hamels, LHP

Time: 5:07 p.m., Busch Stadium
TV: TBS
Weather: Cloudy, 50
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Not that we’re recommending letting the Cardinals out to a 3-0 lead in the first, but both the Phillies (in Game 1) and Cards (in Game 2) spotted their opponents a 3-0 first-inning lead and came back to win. Just because something has happened a couple times in the past doesn’t make it likely to happen in the future.

That’s the message tonight for the Phillies, who face 25-year-old lefty Jaime Garcia. Garcia, in case you haven’t heard, is 2-1 with a career 1.20 ERA in six appearances and 30 innings pitched against the Phillies. Don’t get me wrong–Garcia is an excellent pitcher whose 143 ERA+ in 163 innings last year would have gotten him some serious Rookie of the Year love in any season that didn’t involve Jason Heyward and Buster Posey. But for all the fear that Garcia’s induced over recent days, it’s not time to shut down the carnival and unpack your Flyers gear just yet: remember, it’s still only 30 innings.

Besides, Cole Hamels is on the mound tonight.

Continue reading NLDS Game 3: Phillies (1-1) at Cardinals (1-1)

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