The Phillies haven't done much to keep Pat Burrell around, and their possible replacement could be Raul Ibanez. Accoring to an ESPN report, Ibanez's top choice is the Phillies, and they are quite enamored with him as well.
The choice would seem a little odd for the Phils, considering the replacement for Burrell would be left-handed in this scenario, just like Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. Having three consecutive left-handers in the middle of the order -- especially when Howard and Ibanez are significantly worse against lefties -- would make things easy on opposing managers late in games.
That being said, Ibanez would be a nice replacement for Burrell. Ibanez -- a late bloomer who finally arrived as an everyday player when he was 30 years old -- has compiled 77 home runs and 338 RBI in the past three seasons, while not dipping below a .350 OBP. This past season was especially impressive, considering how atrocious the Mariners were. Ibanez labored through all 162 games while compiling an impressive .837 OPS.
The champs seem willing to overlook the fact that he's left-handed and instead focus on the offensive boost he'll receive when moving into a respectable lineup.
Raul Ibanez on Phillies' Radar to Replace Pat Burrell in Left Field and the Middle of the Order originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Thu, 11 Dec 2008 16:55:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.