Could Juan Rivera Be An Option At The Deadline?BREAKING NEWS, MLB, National League, News, Outfielders, Phillies Tuesday, April 26th, 2011
I was scanning through some Phillies articles when I came across an article which listed the options our baseball team has going forward. The article summed up five potential players the Phillies could target before the trade deadline.
Of course, Texas’ Michael Young was on the list and remains a possibility, even though he will come at a price. But one name that struck my eye was Toronto’s Juan Rivera.
Now Rivera is by no means a flashy player and perhaps Phillies fans have never even heard of him. Rivera spent the majority of his career with the Los Angeles Angels and his early years with the New York Yankees where he batted .266 in three seasons.
A career .277 hitter, Rivera struck my eye for one reason: a right-handed bat that could platoon in the corner outfield spots.
Let’s face the facts. Raul Ibanez has definitely played the part of a 38 year outfielder — batting .187 with 22 strikeouts and only one home run. If he can only put up those numbers, why not throw out John Mayberry Jr in left field? I guess the Phillies’ front office isn’t giving up on Ibanez just yet because of his contract, but he has to be on a short leash by now.
Either way, sitting the bench or not, the Phillies cannot start Ibanez on an everyday basis. Yes, Mayberry Jr. has played decent when given the chance — certainly better than Ibanez, so far — but there’s a part of me that would like the Phillies to bring in a player outside of the organization.
As mentioned above, Rivera is a right-handed bat that still has some pop left. Granted he is coming off a season in which he batted .252 with the Angels, and as of now, he is batting .137 — yes, worse than Ibanez. But he only has 51 at-bats and has played a limited role in Toronto, a team that is undergoing a youth movement.
That youth movement is why Rivera is bound to be on his way out, and because of that, I could see a team like the Phillies taking a chance on him.
Also, Ibanez is pretty much gone after this season anyways, so bringing in Rivera, who also will be a free agent after this season, at a low cost would give the Phillies the option to keep Rivera on the bench in 2012 while a guy like Mayberry or Domonic Brown takes over in the outfield.
Just some food for thought.
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