Have yourself a month, Raul Ibanez.
The soon-to-be 39-year-old outfielder, who has been the source of much consternation among the fan base for the first month of the season, has very quietly put together a great month of May, where he is hitting .337/.355/.607 going into tonight’s game.
It’s night and day from his performance in April, where he ended the month with a line of .161/.247/.218 – truly horrific considering not only his salary, but also the level of ineptitude it takes to have a slugging percentage lower than your on-base percentage - which caused many to wonder if the elder statesman of the outfield has finally lost his bout with age.
For now, that question has been answered, as Raul has not only hit himself out of the fan’s doghouse
, but he has also been the Phils’ most consistent hitter this month, where he is leading the team in RBIs (15), batting average (.337), slugging (.607), OPS (.962), doubles (7), and homers (5 – tied with Ryan Howard).
This should come as no surprise to fans, because the precedent for Ibanez’s streakiness was set long before his tenure with the Phillies began, and is something that he continued in the red pinstripes in April and May of 2009, where he hit .332/.394/.684 with 17 HR and 46 RBIs before getting injured and regressing to his career averages.
While it’s unrealistic to expect him to hit like this the rest of the way, as the thunder is more likely to come from the rest of the lineup, but we can all hope that Raul has a couple more hot streaks left in him before his time in Philadelphia expires.
Published at 2:03 PM EDT on May 27, 2011