Would the lineup look better with a little man-chine in it?
Beerleaguer: It would obviously look best with a little Jayson Werth in it, but for the sake of argument, let's compare Pat Burrell's age 34 assets next to those of Raul Ibanez, who will soon turn 39. Maybe Ibanez has a few more hot streaks in him. Who knows? And while fans can appreciate the two-out RBIs, they're subject to far more middling results from the left side of the plate when there should be greater, more impactful expectations from a premier power position like left field. Ibanez is down to .233/.292/.317 now, while his counterpart in right, Ben Francisco, is rapidly trending downward, sinking to a .249/.317/.386 slash line.
Meanwhile out in San Francisco, Burrell has assembled this gloriously one-dimensional .200/.333/.533 line with five home runs, including a three-run shot to give the Giants a big cushion in Monday's 8-1 win over the Rockies. According to reports, Burrell asked manager Bruce Bochy to be taken out of the game for defensive reasons because Tim Lincecum was carrying a no-hitter into the seventh. Bochy agreed, lifting him for Burrell's defensive caddy Darren Ford. Ah, those were the good old days. Michael Martinez would look good carrying his bags today.
Considering where the Phils stand, with an imbalanced lineup and a shortage of power, would the Phils have been better off keeping Burrell under the same three-year terms they gave Ibanez? Ibanez has hit .271/.345/.485 as a member of the Phils, numbers still inflated by two Ruthian months in 2009. Burrell, since leaving the Phils, is a .234/.331/.422 hitter, numbers sunk by a disastrous .218/.311/.361 in a failed experiment as the Rays DH. He returned to the National League and hit .266/.364/.509 with 18 homers in just 341 plate appearances with the Giants in 2010.
I won't reveal my preference, but I can honestly say I thought about Burrell more than once Monday night when a homer would have won it.