In the spotlight ... Raul Ibanez

Position: Leftfield/designated hitter

Height, weight: 6-2, 210

20091029_dn_0ks8xf9n
Raul Ibanez smiles at friend before Game 1 at Yankee Stadium.

Age: 37. Birthdate: June 2, 1972

Hometown: Born in New York; raised in Miami

Years pro: 14

How acquired: Signed on Dec. 12, 2008 as a free agent.

This year: Ibanez made it to the All-Star Game after he hit .309 with 60 RBI and 22 home runs over his first 64 games. Injuries derailed his season to an extent as he hit just .232 with 12 home runs and 33 RBI over his final 70 games.

Career: Long a mystery to baseball fans on the eastern seaboard, Ibanez has a .285 career average in 1,518 games. He surpassed 1,500 hits in September and will enter the 2010 season with 1,506.

Worth the wait: Ibanez' ascension to the major leagues was longer than most as he didn't play his first major league game until 1996 with Seattle. A 36th-round selection in the 1992 draft, Ibanez was originally a catcher and was an All-Star at that position in Class A.

The designated hitter: Ibanez started Game 1 as the designated hitter, and since he spent all but this season in the American League, it should come as no surprise that he's familiar with the role. With Seattle and Kansas City, Ibanez hit .273 in 215 games as a designated hitter. He has 22 home runs and 112 RBI as a DH.

"As far as Raul Ibanez being a DH, he definitely did that before, and he'll get to play some of the field in this series," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said yesterday. "It's not like he's a bad outfielder. He's been playing very good for us. I just think he had an injury this year, and I think right now [Ben] Francisco moves a little bit better."