Already struggling a bit, losing 4 of their past 5, the Phillies took another hit today as Raul Ibanez was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained groin.
This is obviously a tough loss for the Phillies, as Ibanez is in the midst of a fantastic season, but they should be reasonably well-equipped to weather the storm. They recalled John Mayberry to take Ibanez's roster spot. Mayberry showed flashes of being a productive major league hitter in his debut earlier this year, when he went 2-for-3 with a 3-run homer and a double against the Yankees on May 23rd. Of course, he went 0-for-6 in the 2 games after the debut, before he was sent back down to AAA. Mayberry may not give the Phillies that much at the plate, but he is an exceptional athlete and should improve the Phillies' outfield defense.
Matt Stairs figures to get some starts in the outfield now, as well. He will most likely platoon with Mayberry, unless Charlie Manuel decides that Stairs is too valuable as a pinch hitter and opts to either platoon Greg Dobbs or start Mayberry every day. If the Phillies were losing their #7 hitter, than I would be all for saving Stairs for clutch situations, but they will need another offensive boost with Ibanez out and Stairs has been too good for them to limit his at-bats in this situation.
As for Ibanez, hopefully the injury is nothing serious and the time on the DL will allow him to make a full recovery. He will certainly be missed, but the Phillies have enough offense that they should not be seriously derailed by his absence.
1 day ago