The Philadelphia Phillies will be needing a new bat in the lineup for at least two weeks. SI.com is reporting that Raul Ibanez has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained groin. He is eligible to return from the DL on July 3, but Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is unsure whether Ibanez will be ready to play then.
“It may be longer. But it’s to the point where we needed to shut him down and get him healthy. We’ll find out as he goes through his rehab and the things he needs to do to get it calmed down. We’ll monitor it, and hopefully he’ll heal properly and be ready in 15 days. That’s the plan. That would be great, but I don’t know if it’s going to happen.”
Ibanez had been off to a flying start with the Phillies in the first year of his three-year, $31.5 million contract. His 22 HR rank second in the National League to Albert Pujols and his 59 RBI trail only Prince Fielder. He had been deadly to the Mets this season, producing three HR and nine RBI against New York in only seven games, including a game-winning three-run HR against Ken Takahashi on June 11. It now appears that all this production had been accomplished in pain. Amaro went on to say,
“It’s been bothering him, I guess, a little bit off and on since the beginning of April. Really not that much of an issue for him until more recently. It probably started bothering him more during the course of the last long road trip. He’s not pleased. I know he wants to play. He’s got a chance to really damage the groin if he continues to play on it. And if he does that, he could be out for a very, very long period of time, and that doesn’t make sense to us.”
Ibanez’s absence leaves a gaping hole in the Phillies’ lineup, as his spot on the roster will be filled by John Mayberry Jr. Mayberry was hitting .257 with 8 HR and 31 RBI at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, a far cry from the MVP-type numbers being put up by Ibanez. Mayberry is prone to striking out, as seen by his 56 strikeouts in 183 minor league at-bats.
It looks as if the Mets aren’t the only team to have players play through injuries until they have to be placed on the disabled list. You would think the Phillies would have learned by watching the struggles the Mets have been through due to their improper handling of injured players. Now the Phillies will be left without their team leader in batting average, runs scored, home runs and runs batted in for a minimum of 15 days. Let’s see if the Mets can capitalize on this latest setback for the Phillies.
By the way, for those who think one great hitter on a team full of hitters doesn’t make much of a difference, the Phillies lost to the Blue Jays today by a final score of 8-7. They had the tying run in scoring position and the winning run on first base when the game ended. How did it end? John Mayberry Jr. popped out to second base to end the rally and the game. I wonder how things would have played out had Ibanez been in the lineup.