Without Ibanez, Phils' offense scuffling
Veteran slugger may not be ready to be activated Friday
ATLANTA -- Time has dragged for Phillies left fielder Raul Ibanez since he landed on the 15-day disabled list June 18 with a strained left groin.
The Phillies' offense has dragged, too.
Philadelphia entered Tuesday's series opener against Atlanta at Turner Field hitting just .237 with a .317 on-base percentage and a .395 slugging percentage in 10 games without Ibanez. The club has averaged 4.6 runs per game.
The Phils hit .261 with a .340 OBP and a .456 SLG in 63 games with him. They averaged 5.4 runs per game.
The loss of Ibanez, who worked out with Double-A Reading on Tuesday and could begin a rehab assignment Wednesday, is not the only reason the Phillies have struggled offensively lately. It just illustrates how much they could use him in their lineup.
Ibanez is eligible to be activated Friday against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park, but Phillies assistant general manager Benny Looper said it is too early to tell if that could happen -- although it seems unlikely, because it would mean Ibanez would have had just two rehab games to get his timing back at the plate.
"It seems to me like it's down," manager Charlie Manuel said of the Phillies' offense without Ibanez. "It seems to me like our hitting has been going down, average-wise and things like that. He gave us some production. He's definitely a good choice to hit behind [Ryan] Howard. We had him in the three-hole, too. And he did good. He's very consistent. We definitely miss him."
Eyre's return rained out: Left-hander Scott Eyre, who has been on the DL since June 12 with a strained left calf, was scheduled to start Tuesday for the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Phillies, but the game got rained out. Eyre is slated to start Wednesday for Double-A Reading.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.