www.mozilla.com Weather Central

Royals' playoff appearance years in the making for some fans -9/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Chiefs offense gets rolling in rout -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

California has four teams in the playoffs for the first time -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP golf finishes third at Hoisington meet -9/30/2014, 10:35 AM

Monarchs move to 14-10 -9/30/2014, 10:30 AM

Big 12 coaches react to firing -9/30/2014, 10:21 AM

HHS volleyball goes 2-3 in Newton -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS tennis places third at Garden City Invitational -9/29/2014, 4:16 PM

Tiger tennis finishes fall season 5-2 -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

MNF for Chiefs -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

Royals' starters rest in win -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

KU shows Weis the door -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

Jayhawks take the conservative route in their loss to Texas -9/28/2014, 9:43 AM

FHSU soccer cruises past SW Baptist -9/28/2014, 7:03 PM

Victoria takes advantage for close win at Ness -9/28/2014, 1:14 AM

Plainville grabs first win, beats TMP -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Area prep football roundup: Otis-Bison, Kinsley set record -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Wildcats roll -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Delton, HHS run past Garden City -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's soccer picks up 1-0 win at Southern -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's XC wins at Emporia State -9/27/2014, 7:12 PM

Kansas City clinches first playoff berth since 1985 -9/27/2014, 7:02 PM

Tigers take down No. 8 Pitt State -9/27/2014, 6:53 PM

Kansas linebacker Jake Love lives on instincts -9/26/2014, 11:06 AM

Like old times, Kansas State takes pride in stuffing the run -9/26/2014, 10:57 AM

FHSU women fall 2-1 -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Big win for Tiger soccer -9/26/2014, 10:46 AM

Tough test for Tiger football -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Hays High, TMP move to 4A -9/26/2014, 10:24 AM

One more win and Royals are in -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS XC second at McPherson meet -9/26/2014, 10:25 AM

Indian soccer snaps skid -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS golf clinches share of WAC title -9/26/2014, 10:48 AM

Monarchs, Cardinals seek first win -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Royals drop game at Cleveland -9/25/2014, 10:26 AM

UTEP football coach Sean Kugler hopes to build a program that can emulate Kansas State -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Indians hit the road -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Giants, Redskins trying to avoid steeper climb in East -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

KVA prep volleybal rankings, Sept. 24 -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS soccer falls at Great Bend -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS takes third at Salina South Invitational -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

No. 8 Washburn too much for Tigers -9/24/2014, 10:28 AM

Tiger defense continues to get stronger -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Two wins for TMP volleyball -9/24/2014, 10:27 AM

TMP soccer rolls to win -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Ventura dominates Indians as Royals push for postseason -9/24/2014, 10:28 AM

Sports Scores


Prep basketball


Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48


Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All

myTown Calendar

[var top_story_head]

Ibanez back with Royals

Published on -7/1/2014, 10:06 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

By Andy McCullough


Raul Ibanez's No. 18 jersey hung in a Royals clubhouse for the first time in more than a decade. On the first day of his second act with Kansas City, Ibanez scanned the room in search of a contemporary from his tenure here from 2001 to 2003.

Ibanez saw so much youth, a collection of teammates who attended high school back then. At last, in a nearby corner, he spotted a veteran presence.

"How old is Bruce Chen?" Ibanez asked. Chen turned 37 a couple weeks ago, he learned. Ibanez smiled. "He's young!" he said. "He's a youngster."

At 42, Ibanez became the eldest member of the team when he agreed to a big-league contract. The Royals reached into their past in an attempt to improve their rickety bench. He joined the team on Monday night at the start of a 10-game road trip, alongside utility infielder Christian Colon, the team's No. 1 pick in 2010, who was promoted to the majors for the first time.

Both manager Ned Yost and general manager Dayton Moore insisted they viewed Ibanez as more than a backup, and charted out something of an amorphous role for the new addition. Ibanez can aid the team in both outfield corners, at first base, at designated hitter and as a pinch hitter. At bottom, the organization viewed Ibanez as an upgrade over Justin Maxwell, who along with infielder Pedro Ciriaco was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.

Ibanez batted .157 with scant power for the Angels this season, and received his release on June 21. He returned to his home in Seattle for a few days to consider the landscape. Ibanez indicated he chose the Royals over "more than five" teams with interest.

He maintains a fondness for the organization, which once had offered him his first full-time role in the majors. Team officials insisted his recent production was not indicative of a total decline. They appreciated his postseason experience -- a 44-game slate accrued mostly with the Phillies and the Yankees.

"When he was released," Moore said, "all of our scouts and our entire major-league coaching staff felt that he could be a potentially important part of our team."

Added Yost, "He knows how to put together a professional at-bat. So we're going to use him in a lot of different ways, depending on need."

The addition of Ibanez also provides the team with a viable, veteran insurance policy if they opt to option struggling first baseman Eric Hosmer to Class AAA Omaha. Ibanez played five games at first base for the Angels this season, and has appeared there 136 times in his career. He could also fill in as the designated hitter if the Royals move Billy Butler back into the field.

Hosmer entered Monday's game batting .193 in June. Yet team officials insist his defense is critical to the club's success. Yost batted aside a question about a potential demotion.

"That's so far back off the radar, it's not even close," Yost said. "Not even on the map. There's been no consideration, or talk, of doing that. Or even a thought of it."

It will be curious to see how Yost deploys Ibanez. His value as a fielder is negligible, according to both rival evaluators and advanced metrics. Last season he ranked last among the 113 outfielders with 500 innings in the field in Ultimate Zone Rating, an advanced metric that measures how many runs a defender saves or costs his team.

Ibanez flourished as a hitter after he entered his mid-30s. Even last season, he swatted 29 home runs. Yet only five fell during the second half of the season. Ibanez posted merely a .640 on-base plus slugging percentage during that stretch. His OPS was .523 in Los Angeles. Ibanez blamed his woes on a lack of balance at the plate.

"I've been trying to hold too much weight on my back leg," Ibanez said. "It's about just being athletic, and getting back to even, and hitting through the ball."

He spent his early afternoon tinkering toward that goal. Ibanez joined a sizable Royals contingent for early batting practice.

As Ibanez settled into his new digs, Colon did likewise. His arrival caught him by surprise, he admitted. He was hitting .296 for Omaha, but had been passed over for promotion several times already this season. He split his time between second base, third base and shortstop for the Storm Chasers, but Yost indicated he felt most comfortable with Colon at second.

"Nothing that he does really jumps out at you," Yost said. "He's just been pretty consistent, and a pretty solid player."

To Yost, both players serve the same purpose: "Their role is to help us win baseball games any way they can." For Ibanez, a player familiar with this franchise's history, the goal is clear.

"Nothing would please me more to be part of something that hasn't been done here in a long time," Ibanez said. "And that's getting into the postseason. I'd love to be part of that."

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos

AP Breaking News
AP Nation-World News

View this site in another language.