Besides walk-off homers, beat writer Scott Lauber notes that new left fielder Raul Ibanez has made his presence felt in other ways.
Writes Lauber: “What has impressed me about Ibanez are the little things. He has played relatively well in left field. He runs the bases well (not fast, but intelligently). He doesn't seem to make many mistakes. I don't know why this is particularly surprising. Ibanez has been a good player for a while. But he also has played the past five seasons in Seattle, where the glare of the East Coast-oriented spotlight rarely shines.”
"So far, for us, he's proved that he plays a steady left field, and he's definitely a good baserunner," Manuel told Lauber. "He's been taking the extra base. He tags up on balls and moves up on a base, especially when the ball is hit deep in the outfield. He gets a jump off third. You can play contact baseball with him. He's done a good job for us. From what I've seen so far, he plays the game hard, and he wants to play it right."
Condrey & Happ: Quick quiz: Who leads the team in wins? Answer: Clay Condrey with two. The 33-year-old Texan snared a vulture win in yesterday’s game, representing his sixth shutout appearance in seven tries . Aside from a two-run homer to Adam Dunn, Condrey has been one of the bright spots in the Phillies’ bullpen. His tag-team partner in yesterday’s win, J.A. Happ, has posted similar success, surrendering a two-run homer April 8 and nothing more.
Coste: Tip your cap to Chris Coste for his remarkable rise to the majors. Unfortunately, there’s less evidence to justify his status as a Major League-caliber player. After yesterday’s 0-for-3, he’s hitting .190/.261/.286. Recall that he faded fast last season, hitting .239/.311/.339 after the break and just .107/.286/.143 in September. Until Carlos Ruiz returns, perhaps an even split of Lou Marson and Coste would be in the best interest of the ballclub, and once Ruiz returns, a fresh-bodied Marson could make for a difficult roster decision.