Cholly won't call it a platoon, but actions speak louder than words.
A night after his best performance in a month, Raul Ibanez is back on the bench against the left-hander Dontrelle Willis and is replaced by John Mayberry Jr., who has cooled off in his last three starts. To this observer, it's a significant marker in Ibanez's third and final chapter with the Phils. Manuel has flirted with platooning Ibanez before, but one never got a sense he was fully committed to it. Ibanez's season OPS shot back over .700 to .706 following Tuesday's win, which isn't as bad as someone like Aaron Rowand (.621), who was finally cut from the Giants today. Ibanez is 1-3 lifetime against Willis and Mayberry, who is 1-for-his-last-12, has never faced him.
Tonight, the Phils go Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Pence RF, Mayberry LF, Ruiz C, Valdez SS against D-Train, who hasn't faced the Phillies since 2007.
Notes: Rich Dubee suggested that Joe Blanton could be headed for a rehab with Lakewood during Tuesday's broadcast ... John Bowker will be in uniform tonight. He's a lifetime 22-73 (.301) pinch hitter. Jose Contreras was transfered to the 60-day disabled list to make room. If the Phillies felt like trading Scott Mathieson or Mike Zagurski to the Pirates to complete the Bowker trade, it would clear another spot on the 40-man roster for a last-minute deal. And would anyone care/notice? ... Jim Murphy and Jesse Biddle were named South Atlantic League All-Stars.