Friday, July 2, 2010

Philadelphia Phillies' 10 Item Checklist to Overtake the Braves and Mets- Part 5

May 15, 2010- Milwaukee, WI. Miller Park..Philadelphia Phillies Raul Ibanez gets ready for the next pitch, Ibanez had hit and 2 walk today at the plate..Milwaukee Brewers lost to the Philadelphia Phillies 6-10..Mike McGinnis / CSM.

Part 5 of 12

4. More Production from Left Field

Left field has historically been a position that provides some offensive pop. Thus far this season, it has provided more of a fizzle for the Phillies. 

Raul Ibanez continues to struggle to re-gain his stroke after a blistering start to his Phillies career. A July groin injury severely depressed his production over the balance of 2009. 

Despite offseason surgery to repair the injury, we are now almost three months into the 2010 season and Ibanez is still slumping. A big night left him still hitting just .244 with 6 home runs and 36 RBI— which projects to 13 and 78 respectively over a full year. 

Manager Charlie Manuel has largely not had a viable alternative since back-up Ben Francisco has struggled just the same until the past few days. His surge this week has raised his average to .257, but still sports a paltry .338 slugging percentage. 

Perhaps both are on an upswing.  Still, as a team, the Phillies rank towards the bottom in offensive production in many categories at this position. 

Either Ibanez and/or Francisco must generate more offensive output from a position typically reserved for sluggers. If not, and the team continues to lag behind in the standings, would the Phillies consider taking a shot on elevating Dominic Brown if he performs well in Triple-A? 

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