Through the first two months of this season, the signing of Raul Ibanez looked like the smartest thing Ruben Amaro had ever done. With stats like these, who could argue?
A .332 batting average with 17 HR and 46 RBI. Ibanez was simply a beast and was putting on a clinic on how to hit National League pitching.
However, since the beginning of June, Ibanez’ numbers have dropped significantly.
Over the past 3 months, his batting average has dropped over 100 points to .228 and he only has 10 HR and 33 RBI over that span.
His offensive production has dropped significantly since the beginning of the season, but they are now more in line with his career average. When Raul first came over to the NL, he was tearing up the pitching. Now that pitchers have adjusted and gotten used to him, his numbers have dropped.
That’s not the only thing that has dropped either. Charlie Manuel dropped Ibanez from 5th in the order to 6th, behind Jayson Werth. Raul is struggling right now, and Werth is having a great season, so that was to be expected with Raul’s slump.
His offensive struggles have coincided with the Phillies’ inability to hit with RISP. This has been a problem for the Phillies the past few season, and it hurt them in tonight’s game against the Giants. Not every game is going to be a slugfest, so the Fightins’ need to start getting some timely hits and play some small ball every once in a while.
With the pitchers starting to come around, it’s now time for the offense to pick it up a bit. Not necessarily with HRs, but with some timely and clutch hitting.
The defense in LF with Raul Ibanez has been an obvious upgrade from Pat the Bat out there, but the numbers at the plate need to be picked up a bit. I’m not saying that he needs to be the superstar he was in the first half, just somewhere in the middle of the two Ibanez’ we’ve seen so far this season.
When Ibanez gets back on track and the pitching staff getting there as well, this Phillies team will be extremely dangerous come playoff time.