05.30.09

Seattle Scribe : Who Is This Guy Playing LF For Philly And Where Have We Seen Him Before?

Posted in Baseball at 6:56 pm by

Aside from Raul Ibanez‘ robust offensive output thus far for Philadelphia ( 17 HR’s, 1.019 OPS), old pal Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times notes Ibanez’ solid glovework in left field (“imagine how shocking it is to look at Ultimate Zone Ratings stats this morning and see that Ibanez is actually on the plus-side of the runs saved equation for the first time since 2004. As of today, Ibanez has a +4.6 score in UZR and is projected to finish with a +9.8…with his offensive numbers thrown in, he’s arguably an MVP candidate”) and concludes the former Mariner is a great fit at his new home venue.

I think the ballpark in Philadelphia plays to his strengths. If you know he can cover ground running back to the wall and you know there is less distance to cover in left field there compared to at Safeco Field, it makes sense that Ibanez could be cheating further up towards the infield.

By doing so, he can cut down the number of blooped hits that drop in front of him and penalize him on the UZR front. At the same time, he can still track down balls he runs back on because there is less ground to cover before he gets to the wall. And, he has the skills to make the tougher plays when he’s running back.

For me, that’s the easiest explanation for why he’s gone from very good player to superstar in the span of a season. Sounds like the Phillies knew what they were doing when they went out and got Ibanez. They looked at his skillset and saw a guy who could fit into their home park pretty well.

And now, instead of being penalized for skills that did not fit Safeco very well, he is maximizing what he does have at a home park that plays to his stengths.

3 Responses to “Seattle Scribe : Who Is This Guy Playing LF For Philly And Where Have We Seen Him Before?”

  1. Chuck Meehan says:

    Pretty good analysis from Baker. I have yet to see anything close to the “defensive butcher” rep Ibanez came to Philly with and his only slight weakness may be coming in on balls….but the big news in Philly is the culmination of the rapid ascent through the Phils system of LHP Antonio “Tony Bastard” Bastardo who has been called up to the parent squad to make the start this coming Tuesday in San Diego necessitated by the season (and likely Phillies tenure) ending injury to Brett Myers. Whether or not Bastardo can plug the Fightin’s rotation gap remains to be seen, but he will surely move some merch and have some funny Phan groups named after him.

  2. Jason Cohen says:

    I’ve collected two suggestions already:

    “Bastardo’s Lazardo’s (Buckaroo Bonzai fans only)”

    That actually comes from one of the original members of the first fan group (for Schilling).

    And, the obvious winner:

    “Bastardo’s Sons”

  3. Chuck Meehan says:

    Ol’ Dirty Bastardos (pre-game meet-ups at the “ODB McDonalds” at 31st and Grays Ferry Aves

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