Analysis

So Far, Ibanez Vs. Burrell

When the Phillies signed Raul Ibanez, many were unsure how he would fill the shoes of a fan favorite, Pat Burrell.  So far, there have been no complaints; just chants of “Rauuuuuuul!”

Traveling back a year ago, Burrell batted .326 with eight home runs and 21 runs batted in.  He struck out 18 times, but had a 1.135 on-base plus slugging percentage in April of 2008.  Not too many people thought you could get much hotter than Burrell.

So far this season, Ibanez batted .359 with 7 home runs, and 17 RBI.  His on base percentage is .433 and he slugged .718, giving him a 1.151 OPS.  He has come up clutch with a walk off home run and a late-inning grand slam.  The numbers are close, but Ibanez is off to a better start than Burrell was last season. 

In 2009, Burrell is batting .254 with with just one home run and eight runs batted in.  His on base percentage is .370, but he is slugging a low .343, totaling a .714 OPS.  He has struck out 14 times compared to Ibanez’s 10.

There were question marks surrounding Ibanez’s base running and defense, but so far he has been superb in the field and on the base paths.  He isn’t the greatest defender, but he has made some spectacular catches and his arm is stronger than originally thought to be.  He isn’t a track star, but he hustles, and is a better running option than Burrell. 

Because of the upgrade in speed and defense, the Phillies do not have substitute him for a defensive replacement or pinch runner.  An extra bat in the lineup in the later innings has proved to be a difference as the Phillies are among leaders in all of baseball in runs scored after the seventh inning.

If Ibanez can continue to be the consistent hitter that he is, he is going to put up very good numbers.  Ibanez played at Safeco Field last season, a pitcher’s park.  Moving to a hitter friendly park will only benefit him.  Burrell, on the other hand, moved from a hitter’s park that fitted him well.

As long as he continues to produce, the “Rauuuuuuul!” cheers will live on.

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0 Comments

  1. RG

    May 1, 2009 at 8:28 am

    Probably too early to make a decision on who’s the better fit for this team – we are only 20 games in after all. I’m liking Ibanez so far, though.

  2. Brooks

    May 1, 2009 at 8:41 am

    There are some things that a player does that can make an immediate impact and Raul has done it in a positive and “quiet” fashion a few times.
    Raul has made diving catches – does anyone remember Pat diving for a ball?
    Although not really that fast, his baserunning seems smart and selective. We all would close our eyes and pump our fists when Patty was running the bases.
    But mostly it has been the key, timely huge hits that he has provided. This is what Pat did in April of last year and whenever he would get into one of his few “zones” during the year. Raul’s grandslam the other night is nearly on the same level as Rowand running into the fence, face first – that is the impact he is making on us all.
    The most difficulty I have with Ibanez, and I know it’s a personel thing, cheering “Rauuull”. It comes out badly, I guess I have to practice the yell from my home and hope nobody else hears my attempts in fear that the humane society might crash through my doors – Embarrassing!
    No, it’s not worth the sound that eminates when I try to chant, using the same baritone level as when booing opposing Muts, Fish or Nats – or umpires even.

  3. therookie300

    May 1, 2009 at 9:17 am

    This is looking like it will be a hit on a big free agent signing for the Phils. It’s nice to have this happen after some poor ones recently. I thought Ibanez would work as soon as we signed him. The guy is just a good consistent baseball player. Maybe we could have gotten him cheaper, but look at this way, we have him and not the Mets. They could sure use a player him to eliminate their outfield platoons. Ibanez producing and our chief rivals not having him makes this deal worth it.

  4. joedad

    May 1, 2009 at 10:43 am

    No, it is not too early. Ibanez is a better overall player than Burrell. Pat’s skills are deteriorating while Raul is hitting his peak “late” in life. It will be interesting to see how he handles the second and third time around the division and the adjustments they make against him.

  5. cxl72

    May 1, 2009 at 10:44 am

    this was a great concept for an article when i posted this on tuesday! btw, i’m a huge pat fan but ibanez is the man!!

    ——————-

    cxl72 Says:
    April 28th, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Hold the phone people. Raul is supposed to be streaky just like Pat. In fact, if you compare April 2009 Raul to April 2008 Pat you will see that he has just about MATCHED Pat’s awesome April 2008 production not smashed it.

    Hey, I like Raul as much as the next guy but lets not trend his 18 games over the next 144. I hope he keeps this up but am not ready to get carried away.

    Just like Jimmy Rollins is not going to finish at .192 and our starting pitching will not let up 3 hr/game. Raul will come back to earth. Sorry to be the wet blanket on Mr. Ibanez. Go Phils!!
    _______________________

    April 2008 Pat Burrell:

    ab – 89
    hr – 8
    rbi – 24
    avg – .326
    obp – .450
    slg – .685
    ops – 1.135

    April 2009 Raul Ibanez:

    ab – 73
    hr – 6
    rbi – 16
    avg – .342
    obp – .402
    slg – .685
    ops – 1.087

  6. john-e-boy

    May 1, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Ibanez brings 5 tools vs Burrell’s 1. Raul hits for power, average, has a good arm, and is a very good outfielder. Raul can also steal a base. Burrell had power and the best April for a Phil I can recall, and that memory goes back to Connie Mack Stadium. Burrell will be missed. After all, he was there for the championship and was a contributor. However, Ibanez is a big upgrade.

  7. Bruce

    May 1, 2009 at 11:41 am

    joedad says~ “It will be interesting to see how he (Ibanez) handles the second and third time around the division and the adjustments they make against him. Hey, that is precisely why I think it’s too early to jump on the banwagon of “lovefest” for Ibanez and bellow…”Rau-u-u-l.
    (chuckles)

    Ibanez for me has so far been a pleasant surprise especially with his fielding. However, one must keep in mind with 20 games played and FIVE months of baseball ahead, we shouldn’t jump to any conclusions and be carried away in excitement. In the meantime, let’s enjoy for the moment, his unreal contributions.

  8. YeaGo08

    May 1, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    The only thing Burrell has on Ibanez are his looks!!!

  9. Lidge Saves

    May 2, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    29 > 5

  10. Bridget

    May 3, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    I was never a big Pat Burrell fan. I was happy to see him leave. I am loving Ibanez! I like players who hustle and give it their all; Raul does that. Pat didn’t. Raul makes a great addition to the club, and was a perfect addition to the chemistry of the team.

  11. Greg

    May 21, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Ibanez was a steal……..Pat WHOOOOOO! Phils are way tougher with Ibanez!

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