Should the Phillies release Raul Ibanez?

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Raul Ibanez headshot.jpgThat’s what Corey Seidman at Phillies Nation thinks:

From a baseball standpoint – and from a logical standpoint –  there is
no reason Raul Ibanez deserves to play everyday on a contending team. He
has been awful at the plate and terrible in the field. Yet he continues
to bat sixth everyday while the Phillies top prospect, who also happens
to be a corner outfielder, is putting on a clinic in the
pitcher-friendly Eastern League.

That prospect is Domonic Brown, the fellow who I said had his nose pressed up against the glass a couple of posts ago.  He’s raking in AA: 313/.382/.587 with 10 homers and 33 RBI.  Meanwhile Ibanez cruises on the strength of his April and May of 2009. As Seidman demonstrates, he’s done nothing since. Certainly nothing to justify his job.

Which was easy to hide when Chase Utley and Jayson Werth were hitting and Jimmy Rollins was healthy and productive at shortstop.  With those things not happening, Ibanez has been exposed as the weak link on the defending NL champs.

As of tomorrow evening, the Braves, Mets, Marlins and Nationals will all have called up and played their phenoms.  Perhaps its time for the Phillies to do the same.

Watch: Javier Baez snares a 106-MPH ground ball

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What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.

Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.

Dodgers activate Adrian Gonzalez

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The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.