Jul 10, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals right fielder Raul Ibanez (18) makes a fielding error against the Detroit Tigers in the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Raul Ibanez Experiment Needs to End

It was a good story at the beginning. Raul Ibanez was back where he got his first chance to be an everyday player, possibly helping the Royals get to the playoffs. He started out well, going 3-8 with a home run and scoring two runs in his first two appearances back in Kansas City. It seemed as though the reunion had a chance to work out as Dayton Moore and the Royals had hoped.

However, reality set in quickly. After his quick start, Ibanez has not done anything at all at the plate, going 0-23 since his eighth inning home run on July 2nd. His bat has looked slow, as he has routinely been behind even decent fastballs. It is at the point where Ibanez appears to be cheating for the fastball, with his swing in the awkward position of being too fast for offspeed pitches and behind the heater.

Things have not been much better for Raul Ibanez in the field. While he has displayed a knack of positioning himself in the perfect spot for almost every player, Ibanez has the range of a statue. Actually, that comparison is unfair….to the statue. At least it is understandable why an inanimate object would not have any range.

Instead of playing Jarrod Dyson and Lorenzo Cain, two of the more productive players for the Royals this season, the Royals have continued to trot Ibanez out, playing either left or right virtually every day since being signed. Even though Alex Gordon is out until after the All-Star Break, at the minimum, Ibanez still does not serve a purpose in the Royals outfield. At least Justin Maxwell had more range than a step and a half and can hit above his body weight.

At this point, one has to wonder when The Great Raul Ibanez Experiment is going to end. It was worthwhile to see if he had any life left in his bat, giving the Royals the power bat they need at minimal cost. However, the hope that Ibanez can, in fact, still be a viable part of a major league roster has ended. He simply does not have anything left at this point.

Raul Ibanez has had a very good career. Unfortunately, his career appears to be over. It is time for the Royals to end the Ibanez Experiment.

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