The Los Angeles Angels were in need of a bat this past offseason to help bridge the loss of Mark Trumbo, so they turned to Raul Ibanez as the answer.
For the most part Ibanez has been a solid offensive contributor this season with three home runs and 15 RBIs that currently rank for fifth-highest in the American League. Those type of numbers may look like he has been a consistent hitter, but that hasn’t been the case as he has struggled to hit with consistency as he has a triple slash of .161/.224/.339 with 20 strikeouts in 17 games played this season.
This includes going 1-for-21 (.047 batting average) with six strikeouts in the last six games prior to Tuesday’s game. However, the Halos are hoping what Ibanez did against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night can help him get into a groove hitting the ball with consistency as he hit a bases-clearing double that helped his team get a much-needed win.
If the 41-year-old can pick up his batting average by cutting down on his strikeouts and begin collecting multiple hit games, it will help the Angels greatly on offense as it will make up for David Freese‘s early-season struggles at the plate. Ibanez has only one multi-hit game this season, gone hitless on eight occasions and has struck out at least once in 12 of the games he has played so far.
It may sound a bit crazy to say that Ibanez, who leads the team in RBIs, needs to pick up his production at the plate, but his numbers are a bit deceiving as he has only been a solid hitter with runners in scoring position (.333 BA) but has struggled to collect hits on a consistent basis overall. If he can work through on that aspect of his game, it will greatly help fuel the Angels’ offense as they try to get out of their rough start to the 2014 season.