Phillies fan-favorite Raul Ibanez earns deserved promotion
By Matt Rappa
A Philadelphia Phillies fan-favorite got a much-deserved promotion within Major League Baseball’s on-field operations department.
On Monday, the league and Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that longtime veteran outfielder Raul Ibanez has been named Senior Vice President of On-Field Operations.
Raul Ibanez will be among the leading voices in the MLB central office.
Ibanez most recently served as a Special Assistant with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his new role, he will focus on issues related to rules, equipment, and on-field technology, along with contributing to MLB scouting and amateur baseball initiatives.
Longtime baseball operations executive Michael Hill, who was rumored to be in the running this offseason for the top Phillies front office role before they hired Dave Dombrowski, will hold the same title as Ibanez. He will oversee MLB’s umpiring and on-field discipline at both the major- and minor-league levels.
Also, MLB bolstered its group of former players and officials who tend to on-field matters and serve as liaisons to MLB clubs, players and umpires, adding Joe Martinez, Rajai Davis, and Bo Porter to roles in its Baseball Operations Department.
Commissioner Manfred said the league is excited that Raul, a “highly respected figure among his peers,” will lead many of the game’s most significant Baseball Operations initiatives.
Raul Ibanez was key in the latter years of the recent Phillies postseason window.
Ibanez, 48, played 19 seasons in the majors — 11 with the Seattle Mariners from 1996-2008 and 2013, four with the Kansas City Royals from 2001-03 and 2014, three with the Phillies from 2009-11, and one each with the New York yankees (2012) and Los Angeles Angels (2014).
In his first season in red pinstripes (2009), Ibanez was instrumental in helping the Phillies clinch back-to-back National League pennants. He earned his first and only career All-Star nod that year, finishing with a .272/.347/.552 slash lines, 32 doubles, 34 home runs, and 93 RBI. In the 2009 World Series opposite the New York Yankees, he hit .304 with four doubles, one home run, and four RBI across the six-game series. He had13 RBI in 15 postseason games in total that year.
Overall, Ibanez played 433 regular season games in a Phillies uniform, and collected an even 100 doubles, 70 home runs, and 260 RBI while slashing .264/.329/.469.