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Striking out at high rate early, Ibanez gets day off

Striking out at high rate early, Ibanez gets day off play video for Striking out at high rate early, Ibanez gets day off

HOUSTON -- Of Raul Ibanez's 16 plate appearances with the Angels, one has resulted in a home run, two have been singles, none have been walks and nine have been strikeouts. Ibanez isn't necessarily a high-strikeout guy, as evidenced by the fact that 121 players punched out at a higher rate from 2003-13. But he led the Majors through the first five days.

The 41-year-old thinks he knows exactly what's wrong.

"I've been stepping and swinging at the same time, instead of striding to hit," said Ibanez, who sat on Saturday with a lefty on the mound for the Astros and a day game on Sunday. "It's a step and a hit at the same time. I think that causes a lack of recognition. But it's like everything else. You go through spurts. It goes like this now, and then maybe you don't strike out for a week. Yesterday I was encouraged that I was able to barrel up three balls hard in one game."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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