Quietly, Phillies left-fielder Raul Ibanez and second baseman Chase Utley have been better lately. (Getty)
Over his last 12 games, Ibanez is 13-for-42 (.310) with three doubles, two homers and eight RBIs. That, in and of itself, isn’t cause for celebtration, and his numbers overall are still relatively poor, but he’s been striking the ball noticeably harder. Like Utley, there have been grumblings over a hidden injury. A rival scout, speaking to the Inquirer, recently said "He doesn't look as strong to me in his lower half and I think it's contributing to his problems. I know he had the groin surgery. The combination of age and wear and tear could be affecting his stability." Utley, obviously, had a big series against Minnesota, producing six hits and seven RBIs. In his last six games he's 9-for-25 (.360) with three walks. And like Ibanez, he appears to be swinging the bat with more purpose.
Now that’s positive.