Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Lefty, lefty, lefty

Raul Ibanez, another lefty, joins the Phillies.

Lefty, lefty, lefty

Lefty, lefty, lefty.

Raul Ibanez is obviously a strong major-league hitter. The Phillies could have done worse in their attempt to replace Pat Burrell in leftfield. He's a big RBI guy. You have taken some strikeouts out of the lineup. It's fine -- and the best part is that it only cost them money, not the cream of their meager minor league crop to get him. But we all know the problem.

Lefty, lefty, lefty.

Last year, Ibanez hit for a higher average against lefthanded pitching but that was an anomaly, at least based upon the rest of his career. Lifetime, his numbers go like this: .293 average and .494 slugging percentage against righthanders and .268 and .411 against lefthanders. And now he joins Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in the middle of a batting order that can only be rivaled in its lefty-ness by Pelosi, Reid and Kennedy.

Oh, and one other thing: he isn't much of a leftfielder. There are some sabermetric types who would say he is a brutal leftfielder. I'm not going there but, well, we have seen this movie before.

Now, here's the good news:

Francisco Rodriguez is righthanded.

J.J. Putz is righthanded.

So the Mets have helped themselves in the bullpen, yes. But just as Ibanez is not ideal for the Phils, a righty-righty back end of the bullpen is not ideal for a team trying to dethrone the Phillies, who will now come lefty-lefty-lefty down the stretch.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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