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Scouts: Raul Ibanez's bat speed is way down

Apr 7, 2010, 4:47 PM EDT

Raul Ibanez headshot.jpgOne of the reasons I am a bit less optimistic about the Phillies this year? Given his age, Raul Ibanez is way more likely to put up a full season of his second half production from last year than he is to put up even a half season of what he did in April and May last year.  Buster Olney talks to scouts who agree:

There is a lot of buzz among scouts about what is perceived to be the
diminished bat speed of Raul Ibanez, the Phillies’ left fielder. “The good thing is that they can
hide him in that lineup,” one scout said. “He’s a smart hitter, so
he’ll guess right enough to do some damage. But he’s vulnerable now to
hard stuff inside — you should pound him with fastballs. I can’t see
them keeping him in the No. 6 spot for the whole year; [Shane] Victorino
is a better hitter.”

Worth mentioning that every scout’s answer for everything is “you should pound him with fastballs in” but I do agree that anyone banking on yet another career year from Ibanez this season is of a particularly optimistic disposition about such things.

  1. Jonny5 - Apr 7, 2010 at 4:59 PM

    Still better than Burrell out there, with whom they won the WS btw. And Polanco is a big upgrade in hitting from Feliz, so they will be a better team this season ya know, on paper and all. Plus the Bench got better, they picked up an ace for the whole season. I laugh at anyone who feels they’ll win less than 90 this season. Ha ha ha, a deep long laugh.

  2. MikeZ - Apr 7, 2010 at 7:00 PM

    He looked terrible in Clearwater. Good thing the Phils got this kid named Dominic Brown waiting in the wings.
    Calcaterra, you say “One of the reasons I am a bit less optimistic about the Phillies this year”. So what are your other reasons? It can’t be starting pitching, fielding or offense. Maybe bullpen, but the pen is banged up now. Even with that the pen still looks stronger then last season.

  3. Craig Calcaterra - Apr 7, 2010 at 7:24 PM

    The pen is the biggest. The fact that they’re banged up now is not a justification. The season has started. They will likely lose a game or two because of the pen, and those games count in what will be a close race. I have concerns about Happ and Moyer. I think Ibanez, Victorino and Werth are all candidates for a slight decline. None of this is in and of itself significant — a game here or there — but I think the Braves have improved considerably. Neck and neck all year, I think. This constitutes less optimism than most of the Phillies fans around these parts who seem to think they’ll coast to the division title by ten games or something.

  4. MikeZ - Apr 7, 2010 at 8:10 PM

    Happ is a question starting in his 2nd full season. He got off to a great start last year but then struggled for a bit from the long season. He was able to bounce back a bit at the end which gives some hope he will be able to go deep in the season and stay consistent.
    I think Moyer has a been a concern at the start of the season for probably the last 5 seasons. The guy is old, but he can still throw the junk ball and get guys to ground out.
    Werth could have a huge season, his contract is up and he is looking to get paid. Don’t see him as a Phil next season.
    Victorino dropped down to 6th in the lineup so he has less pressure on him and will see less at bats.
    Looks like the Phils will get screwed on the Ibanez contract. He is looking washed up. That money would have been better spent locking up Werth.
    The Braves have gotten better. Hayward looks like NL rookie of the year already. I don’t think it is enough to run with the Phils yet though. Those pesky Marlins will make another mid season run I think. If they get hot vs. the Phils it could be an interesting September. If they got hot vs. the Braves then the Phils will take the division pretty easily.

  5. Jonny5 - Apr 7, 2010 at 10:53 PM

    Like my old gran pappy used to say craig……. Sheeit in one hand and hope in the other, tell me which one fills up first……

  6. Charles Gates - Apr 8, 2010 at 8:27 AM

    If your plan calls for you to sheeit in your hand, then it’s time to reassess your strategy. I think that’s the point. Either that, or to invest in Purell. Either way.

  7. Benny Blanco - Apr 8, 2010 at 8:58 AM

    Whatever lets you sleep at night johnny.

  8. masonb82 - Apr 8, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    Another chance to quote Ball Four: “Smoke ’em inside.”

  9. Mathew - Apr 8, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    Let me get this right. A braves rookie plays 2 games and hes the next Joe Dimaggio and then a Phillie’s player has a bad spring training(after coming off surgery mind you) and hes a liability now? even though hes been a career .290 hitter.
    You guys need to get a phillies fan in here writing for you to even out the bias on this site. You got a met fan writing a braves fan and a marlins fan. Its to much.

  10. Route36West - Apr 9, 2010 at 9:56 PM

    Mike- Happ after 4 innings of work 1.50 whip 0.00 era with 5 k’s
    He’ll be fine
    Craig- Ibanez 3 runs 3 rbi .230 era in 22 innings of work.
    Ya hes going to keep the Phillies from winning the division

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