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  1. One of the most interesting things about this signing to me is what it will do for the market of other all-hit no-field COFs. Does Dunn now ask for 4/60? Does Burrell ask for the same? What about Milton Bradley?

    Comment by Jack — December 12, 2008 @ 9:17 pm

  2. I got aother head scratcher.

    From reading the comments on ESPN, Philly fans cant wait for this guy to get out of town, for all the moronic reasons that would drive you nuts.

    He plays bad defense, he pulls everything, he strikes out too much. Hmm, sounds like another Philly they adore as the MVP. Why does Howard get MVP votes and Burrell gets booed out of town?

    Comment by D Wrek — December 12, 2008 @ 10:33 pm

  3. Look on the bright side, Eric. They gave 24M to Adam Eaton for three years, and won the World Series anyway. At least he’s off the books at the end of the year…

    Comment by don — December 12, 2008 @ 10:39 pm

  4. Do you guys actually look up stats, or do you just cherry pick from other articles?
    Everyone is worried about the Phillies against LH pitching? First of all, what % of ABs come against LH pitching for an every day player, 40% at the most?
    Second, besides Werth’s 1.020 OPS vs. LH pitching last year, Utley had a .888 OPS, Victorino had a .882, Felize had a .845 and Ibanez had .868. The Phillies crushed LH pitching last year. It was RH pitching where they struggled. Did you guys even watch the playoffs? Remember the dominant LH pitcher, CC Sabathia?

    Comment by Steve — December 12, 2008 @ 11:17 pm

  5. Cherrypick from other articles? Steve, have you been to Fangraphs before? We keep all necessary statistics here. And, if you actually read the article, I never said that the Phillies have a problem hitting LH pitching… I said that OTHER PHILLIES bloggers are mentioning that this now limits them to one serious right-handed offensive threat.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — December 12, 2008 @ 11:31 pm

  6. Steve, that’s severe selection bias that makes the Phillies hit LHP so well. Opponents bring in LHP from the bullpen against the heart of the Phillies order. The Phillies heart of the order includes Utley and Howard. They both hit LHP worse than RHP, but still hit LHP better than Pedro Feliz and Carlos Ruiz hit RHP.

    Comment by MattS — December 13, 2008 @ 12:39 am

  7. It also doesn’t specifically say that the Phillies have had or will have trouble hitting left-handers. It only states that Jayson Werth is the only right-handed threat.

    Not to beat a dead horse here, but this move really boggles the mind. Maybe a different team siging Raul would have made sense. Maybe there’s a team out there that has a LF on par with Raul’s defense, but sub-par at the plate compared to Raul. Then I could somewhat fathom that team signing Raul. But, as stated above, Raul is worse than Burrell in the field and at the dish. And he certainly doesn’t cost much less that Pat will probably end up costing.

    But, in the end, a lot of casual Phillies fans will probably just see the offense, take Amaro’s word that Raul can actually play defense and be completely fine with the move. After all, Raul is “a great clubhouse guy.” ;)

    Anyway, good luck in your new digs, Raul.

    Comment by JLP — December 13, 2008 @ 12:44 am

  8. Some of the comment on Keith Law’s blog are absurd

    “Ibanez is a much better player than Burrell overall; much better defensively and he even hits lefties better than Burrell.”

    Ibanez and Burrell are both awful defensively and take away so much of their value with their fielding. Their numbers against LHP over the last three seasons:
    Pat Burrell: .275/.421/.550
    Raul Ibanez: .269/.325/.410

    I’m not sure how a lower batting average, much worse plate discipline and less power qualify someone as a better hitter.

    “To say Burrell is better than Ibanez defensively is absolutely insane considering we take Burrell out of the game after the 7th inning for defensive purposes”

    “Ibanez was the man in Seattle and was arguably one of the hottest hitters for stretches of last season, simply carrying the Mariners at times.

    He carried them all the way to 101 loses. I guess they some fans just want the Phillies to downgrade offensively and give away their first-round draft pick.

    Comment by Fritts — December 13, 2008 @ 1:39 am

  9. Dear Phillies-

    Thanks for the pick.

    Love,
    M’s Fans

    P.S. It’s not that we don’t love Ibanez – there is much nashing and wailing on sports radio here today about him signing with the Phillies and how we now need a “bat” to replace his production – it’s just that he hasn’t helped the team win. What he should do is be a DH but he’s too proud a player to not play in the field. We would have loved to have him back on a smaller/shorter contract, but as that wasn’t going to happen, we’ll take the picks.

    Comment by CMC_Stags — December 13, 2008 @ 2:53 am

  10. Lookout Landing gifs aside, Ibañez is often regarded as a decent fielder because he fields his position generally well, takes adequate routes, and continually exerts himself in the field. What most people do not see are the lack of foot speed and slow breaks, leading to severe lack of range.

    Many Mariners fans simply do not believe that Ibañez is any less than average defensively. If you try to talk about actual defensive measures, you are likely to wind up in a situation in which the person will ask why they should believe in statistics that are so obviously incorrect as to rank Ibañez anywhere near Manny Ramirez defensively.

    Comment by Basil Ganglia — December 13, 2008 @ 3:16 am

  11. I’ll start by saying this, I’m a Phils fan and my initial thoughts were that I didn’t like the deal. But I’ve started to warm up to it. I don’t love it, but I also don’t hate it. I’m willing to see how things work out next year.

    Defensively they are both subpar defensive LFs. Going by the Dewan +/- Ibanez was a slightly better fielder this year and last year. From 06-08 Pat is the worst LF going by their system a -73 vs. Ibanez who is a -41. Ibanez was once a pretty good LF a few years ago but he has fallen off in that aspect. The one positive I see is Ibanez is a better athlete and runs a little better than Pat. I know, I know it isn’t much better, but it’s a very small LF to cover in CBP and I think his D will not be as bad with the smaller area to cover.

    I personally think the biggest reason they wanted Pat gone is his yearly “slump” that lasts for an entire half season. While his numbers always even out at the end of the year, when he hits those half year slumps he renders himself useless to the team because he doesn’t bring any other skills to the table. I’m sure you’re well aware of what it feels like when he’s in one of these slumps (pray that he draws a walk). It really does cripple the line up when he goes into these funks.

    08 2nd Half – .215/.313/.413/.726 OPS+ 90
    07 1st Half – .215/.378/.408/.786 OPS+ 112
    04 2nd Half – .222/.317/.407/.725 OPS+ 89
    03 1st Half – .192/.300/.379/.678 OPS+ 79

    The age differential while substantial, I’m actually not concerned. Ibanez runs better now than Pat does, and he hasn’t had any injury problems the past few years.

    I consider last years success against lefties by Ibanez a fluke, but he isn’t Ryan Howard bad against lefties either. The one nice thing is Ibanez seems to hit well with RISP & RISP 2 Outs. He most likely won’t get the same amount of RBI opportunities, but he will make more of the opportunities than Pat did.

    Ibanez RISP
    Career.305/.380/.493/.873
    08 .327/.397/.480/.877
    07 .328/.411/.569/.980

    Ibanez RISP 2 Outs
    Career .287/.385/.469/.854
    08 .324/.407/.479/.886
    07 .324/.425/.618/1.043

    Burrell RISP
    Career .263/.386/.467/.853
    08 .234/.358/.469/.827
    07 .258/.411/.477/.888

    Burrell RISP 2 Outs
    Career .244/.389/.467/.856
    08 .183/.341/.366/.707
    07 .255/.438/.473/.911

    While overall Pat’s ability to take a walk evens out Raul’s contact hitting ability, the one place that actually making contact with the ball makes a difference is with RISP and RISP w/ 2 Outs. You can’t drive in runs if you can’t put the ball in play IMO.

    Overall the positives are Ibanez makes more contact, hits better with RISP, a little more athletic, and doesn’t got into monster slumps for half the year. The negatives are we become more lefty dominated, Ibanez won’t hit as many HR’s as Pat most likely, and he doesn’t walk close to as often as Pat. The way I see it is worse case it’s a lateral move, best case he’s an upgrade.

    Overall I’m not thrilled, and I hate losing a draft pick. . . But if the Phils bust slot like they did last year I’m not really concerned.

    Comment by B — December 13, 2008 @ 4:13 am

  12. Does this mean that Werth will see less playing time this year or are the Phils writing off Jenkins? Is Jenkins done? I had thought that they maybe they would consider a sort of platoon in LF with Jenkins spelling Werth in RF if needed. This would have involved signing a very moderately priced right-handed bat. (This idea may have been touched on in a previous article.)

    The most mind-boggling thing about this is not offering Burrell arbitration.

    If Charlie bats Utley, Howard and Ibanez in the 3,4,5 slots against RHP, I think that I may blow a valve.

    Comment by Geno Mack — December 13, 2008 @ 11:22 am

  13. Geno,

    Werth is a full-time starter. They wanted to platoon he and Jenkins last year, but Werth’s emergence and Jenkins’ injury gave Werth the job, and there is no way he won’t play a full season. I also believe there is no way Jenkins performs worse than he did last year. He still has value, and could probably trade him, but it doesn’t hurt to have a guy like that off the bench – a plus defender in a corner OF position with some power.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — December 13, 2008 @ 1:06 pm

  14. Excellent stuff, Eric, I couldn’t agree more.

    As far as the righty/lefty discussion goes, I know Sheehan at BP thinks it’s a horrible move from that standpoint at well. It got me to thinking just what the Phillies should do against LHP, and I came up with this…

    Rollins
    Utley
    Werth
    Howard
    Victorino
    Ibanez
    Feliz
    Ruiz
    (pitcher)

    Let’s be honest — although Howard is useless against LHP, Cholly won’t hit him any lower than cleanup. But this at least accentuates Werth (the Phils’ best hitter against southpaws now), and tries to counter a team running a LOOGY out there to mow down Utley/Howard/Ibanez if they’re hitting 3/4/5. In fact, I think Ibanez should hit 6th (behind Werth or Victorino) all the time, because that 3/4/5 LOOGY possibility is just too potentially crippling to ignore from the 6th inning onwards.

    Comment by PhillyFriar — December 14, 2008 @ 1:14 pm

  15. Fwiw, the Phils have made a host of moves, regarding personnel and strategy in the last few years that were instantly mocked and criticized. Off the top of my head, lots of guys they signed (JC Romero, Feliz) were blown off as sub-optimal headscratchers. Letting Myers go to the pen last year was ripped, and Manuel’s insistence on batting Utley and Howard back to back is still treated like an affront to common decency. During the World Series, you could easily imagine Joe Sheehan over at BP grinding his teeth in frustration every time Howard faced a lefty in late inning situations. And Bobby Abreu, and then Pat Burrell, were studs that Model-T Philly did not properly value. Etc., etc., etc.

    On the one hand, you have a team that is making all these blunders, and on the other, this is the same team has won the NL East two years in a row, as well as a World Series title. Are they winning in spite of these grade school errors, or are the dire criticisms are bit overblown? At this point, I’m willing to extend some benefit of the doubt, and I’ll be cautiously optimistic about Ibanez.

    Comment by Brian — December 15, 2008 @ 4:37 am

  16. The critisism is really not a binary thing. People are not saying that having 3 lefties in a row in your lineup will cause you to miss the playoffs. It will alter the odds of you making the playoffs. The Phils biggest competition will come from the Mets. Putz is not very good against lefties, K-Rod is pretty average. After that they have Feliz, Schoeweniecz (sp?), and Wagner. That should pretty much cover the team 3 trips through the 345 of the line up.

    This is a head scratcher because there were plenty of other lateral moves the team could have made that would cost them less (3/30 + draft pick).

    Comment by Scappy — December 15, 2008 @ 9:16 am

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