Mayberry Makes His Case

John Mayberry Jr. has an excellent opportunity in front of him, and he can take advantage if he takes Charlie Manuel‘s advice.

Gotta hit, son.

Mayberry is hitting. He went 2 for 4 with a game-tying home run in the seventh inning in today’s 2-1 victory over the Mets. Mayberry is hitting .345 (10 for 29) with two doubles, one home run and three RBIs in 17 games, most of which have come as a pinch-hitter. Mayberry has earned more playing time, and it sounds like Manuel is going to give him a chance.

Now is the time. Raul Ibanez is hitless in his last 30 at-bats, and has just four hits in his last 49 (.082). He also is hitless in his last 16 at-bats against left-handed pitchers, which explains why Mayberry started today against the Mets’ Jonathon Niese. Mayberry has started in left field in four of the last five games against left-handed pitchers: today against Niese, Wednesday against Arizona’s Joe Saunders, Sunday against San Diego’s Wade LeBlanc and April 20 against Milwaukee’s Chris Narveson. Ibanez started against San Diego’s Clayton Richard on April 22.

Ibanez has hit .136 (3-for-22) with one double, one home run and five RBIs against left-handers this season, while Mayberry has hit .375 (6-for-16) with two doubles, one home run and two RBIs against them.

Mayberry should be starting regularly against left-handers, while Ibanez should get a chance to get out of his slump against right-handers.

Both players deserve a chance. Mayberry gets one because the Phillies need more offfense. Ibanez gets one because April does not make a season. Ibanez was hitting .229 with a .329 on-base percentage and a .371 slugging percentage on June 6 last season. Fans wanted him benched for Domonic Brown, but he turned things around. Ibanez hit .295 with a .359 on-base percentage and a .477 slugging percentage the rest of the way to make him one of the most productive hitters in the lineup the second half of the season.

He needs more time to find his stroke, but there will be a cutoff at some point. Manuel echoed Jayson Werth‘s name when talking about Mayberry today. Werth earned playing time over Geoff Jenkins in right field in 2008. The same could be happening here, but it’s too early to know for sure.

Gotta hit, son.

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9 Comments

Position competition is always healthy.

Nice to see Mayberry making his mark. It makes Ibanez’s slump a bit less painful knowing we’re getting some offense in his place.

Nice to see Valdez finally get a clutch hit. Also how about Worley’s start? Very impressive.

How about 3-4 hit batsmen in this series??!? Think Lee will retaliate?

No reason to retaliate. They’re not doing it on purpose, they just stink.
It would be such a find if Mayberry can become a big league hitter. He’s a great mistake hitter (that hanging curve today was made to order), but he’s got to prove he can hit consistently against big league pitching. I’m pulling for him.

Me too. And yes, there’s no reason to retaliate. The best revenge is beating them, which should happen if the game doesn’t get rained out – or rained on.
I think, with Ibanez being in the last year of his deal, the Phils will look to put the best player on the field. If that’s Mayberry, then good for him-and them.

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“Gotta hit, son” Holds for Domonic too. Hope to see him on the team soon. The productivity and defense of the outfield has been shaky at best this season.

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