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.

Shohei Ohtani no longer facing Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday at Yankee Stadium

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
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Shohei Ohtani has essentially become the Angels’ designated Sunday starting pitcher, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Thursday morning that the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star will be skipped in the rotation this weekend at Yankee Stadium for “workload management” purposes.

Ohtani is fine to continue hitting, so there’s no sense of any physical ailment.

This decision will rob us — and the Japanese media — of a showdown between Ohtani and countrymate Masahiro Tanaka. And for that we are rather devastated, but you can understand the Angels’ concerns about overuse.

Ohtani has registered a 3.35 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, and 52/14 K/BB ratio through his first 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) as a major league pitcher and he’s slashing .308/.364/.582 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games as a part-time DH.