Raul Ibanez, not really an outfielder

Now, to be fair, I don’t have a problem with Swisher getting a day off from playing the outfield. He was dealing with a groin injury through most of Spring Training, so making sure that he didn’t play three straight games on the turf at The Trop is certainly defensible. However, some consideration of the circumstances must be taken into account when making these decisions and, suffice it to say, sticking a fielder as poor as Ibanez in right field with a fly ball pitcher on the mound facing a lineup full of left-handed pull hitters was hardly an inspired choice. If Girardi really wanted to give Swisher the proverbial half-day off (and for all of the talk about how the DH spot was going to be used to give guys “rest,” it’s rather curious that the one Yankee who has actually had trouble with injuries over the past few seasons played third base in all three games) during yesterday’s game, he should have hand Andruw Jones in right field, regardless of what hand the pitcher threw with. Even better, Girardi could have had Swisher DH Saturday and played Jones in right field, with David Price starting for the Rays, and let Brett Gardner play left field. But that would have required either sitting Derek Jeter/A-Rod altogether or not starting Nunez, and we couldn’t very well have that, now could we?

Look, there can be a lot of disagreement between the various defensive metrics, the “eyeball test,” etc., but one thing they can all agree on is this: Raul Ibanez is not a good outfielder. He’s just not. He’s not a dead fish out there, on his good days, so if you really need to stick him in the outfield you can probably justify it, but you need to pick your spots. Putting him in right field at Yankee Stadium with Ivan Nova pitching during a long stretch in June? Okay, I can see that. The third game of the year with arguably your most fly ball prone starter getting the call? Nonsensical.

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

19 thoughts on “Raul Ibanez, not really an outfielder

  1. I don't even like Maddon – but he flat schooled Girardi this weekend. Saying Cashman should always go to the Series with the money spent is like saying Girardi should win with the players he has. Both manage to find ways to fail.

    I don't like Ibanez guitars, and I'm not sure I don't prefer Thames in the field over Raul – and I never thought I'd prefer Thames's fielding over anyone with a beating heart.

  2. Why do guys need days off the 1st weekend of baseball?Three games in and we've seen the same old nunez and the just old ibanez field like extras in Major League 3:Back to the Minors.

  3. If the Yankees really plan to rotate guys in and out of the lineup, they need better guys rotating than Nunez and Ibanez.

  4. I am no where near close to panicking, but Girardi has to take a more relaxed approach to chill out a little bit with his managerial decisions. Also, they need to find a way to beat the shift.

  5. Ibanez had a -18.9 UZR last year… ugh. And Cashman wanted Ibanez so he could give the regular outfielders a spell every once in a while. Let's hope every once in a while is never again.