Raul has seemed to have a split personality offensively the last 2 seasons.
Even with Utley expected to be healthy, a good year from Raul Ibanez was thought to be crucial. And now with the likelihood of Utley missing significant time, Raul's bat will be needed even more, as he will likely bat 3rd in the order without Chase. But his two seasons here have been tales of two halves with great disparities.
He had a great 1st half of 2009 and was probably the team MVP of the 1st half of that season. And then he went on the DL with a groin injury in mid-June and played through the injury for the most part after that, but his production suffered the rest of the season.
After his 70th game on July 20, 2009, Raul was batting .315 with 25HRs and 68 RBIs.
And then in his final 66 games he batted .223 with 9 HRs and 25 RBIs.
And in 2010, it was a switcheroo with him having a bad first half and a good 2nd half.
After his 76th game on July 1, 2010 he was batting .236 with 6 HRs and 36 RBIs.
And then after that in his final 79 games he batted .307 with 10 HRs and 47 RBI.
So at age 39, the question is which Raul will they get in 2011? And can their offense survive if he is unproductive for half of the season again? If having a quality beard was any indicator, I'd say he is in for a good season.