Results tagged ‘ John Mayberry Jr. ’

Amaro: Expect Significant Changes to Roster

Ruben Amaro Jr.Change is coming.

Ruben Amaro Jr. said today there will be more adjustments to the Phillies’ roster in the future, following yesterday’s trade that sent John Mayberry Jr. to Toronto for Minor League third baseman Gustavo Pierre.

“Not that it’s a huge change, but we’re going to have to start churning the roster in a way that it’s going to have to be improved,” Amaro said in the press box at Turner Field.

Does he believe those changes could be significant?

“I do,” he said. “I think we need it. I think we need it because what we have on our roster right now is not working. How much we’ll do will depend on what makes sense for us. We’re still kind of assessing what we have. But I think it would behoove us to make some change because we need to be better.”

Amaro declined to say if those changes could extend to staff and management positions, although he said Friday there will be no changes at GM or manager while Pat Gillick serves as interim president.

“I’m not going to get into specifics,” he said. “We have to be better.”

There is no question the roster does not have enough talent to win, but there also is a staleness in the clubhouse. It might be a good idea to move some players simply to get fresh faces and perspectives in there.

Amaro said that could be a factor when shaping next season’s roster.

“There are a lot of factors,” Amaro said. “How a player will fit short term and long term for us. What guys bring to the table on and off the field. All those things. Intangibles. We have to assess all those things. And we’ll look to improve in all those areas.”

But money will make the job difficult. The Phillies are loaded with players with expensive contracts, which they have been unable to move in the past. They could find the same issues in the offseason.

“We have a lot of ideas where we want to go, but to crystallize those we’ll have to see how things go, particularly when we have a chance to see some of the guys called up here,” Amaro said. “We have a lot of decisions to make. I think it’s a good thing. Change is going to be good in certain ways. Consistency is important too. I think we have a lot to assess, but we have a pretty good idea where we want to go. We just have to start thinking about the execution of those things.”

Mayberry Traded to Toronto

The Phillies made one more trade before tonight’s midnight waiver Trade Deadline.

They shipped outfielder John Mayberry Jr. to the Blue Jays for Double-A third baseman Gustavo Pierre.

Pierre, 22, had just been promoted from Class A Dunedin to Double-A New Hampshire. He hit .263 with 23 doubles, three triples, seven home runs, 40 RBIs and a .675 OPS in 407 plate appearances with Dunedin. He has been assigned to Double-A Reading.

Mayberry hit .213 with six home runs, 21 RBIs and a .722 OPS in 138 plate appearances this season, and .242 with 52 home runs, 169 RBIs and a .733 OPS in parts of six seasons with the Phillies.

The Phillies acquired Mayberry from the Rangers on Nov. 20, 2008, for outfielder Greg Golson. It was the first player transaction Ruben Amaro Jr. made as general manager.

The Phillies traded right-hander Roberto Hernandez earlier this month to the Dodgers for prospects Victor Arano, who is a right-hander, and Jesmuel Valentin, who is a second baseman.

Howard Sits Against Lefty … He Hits

Ryan HowardRyan Howard has been a bit better against left-handed pitchers this season than the previous three, but not substantially better.

So it seemed like a no-brainer today when Ryne Sandberg started John Mayberry Jr. at first base against Padres left-hander Eric Stults. Howard entered the afternoon with a .209/.268/.413 line against left-handed pitchers, compared to a .198/.254/.350 line the previous three seasons.

But then a quick look at the matchups showed Howard is 2-for-2 with two home runs and four RBIs in his career against Stults.

Despite his struggles against left-handed pitchers, Howard has started 12 of 16 games against lefties this season. He also has hit fifth eight times after hitting there twice in the season’s first four games. Meanwhile, Mayberry has a .273/.385/.545 line against left-handed pitching this season and a .274/.326/.528 line against them in his career.

Howard’s Big Day

Ryan HowardIf you missed yesterday’s 10-9 victory against the Rockies you missed plenty, so here are a few facts, figures, thoughts and links:

  • Ryan Howard went 4-for-5 with a triple, home run, three RBIs and three runs scored. He is hitting .262 with a .360 on-base percentage, .508 slugging percentage and .868 OPS. It is just 18 games so nobody knows where his season is headed, but at the moment he is on pace for 36 home runs, 90 RBIs, 90 walks and 189 strikeouts. His 90 walks would be his most since 107 walks in 2007.
  • Howard fell a double short of the cycle, although he came close. He hit a ball to right field in the seventh inning that dropped in front of Rockies right fielder Brandon Barnes. The ball got behind Barnes as Howard cruised into second. The official scorer ruled it a single and an error on Barnes. Naturally, Phillies fans and many people in the Phillies clubhouse thought it should be a double. But not everybody in the clubhouse felt that way. Some thought it was a reasonable ruling. If it is changed, great for Howard. He will have the first Phillies cycle since David Bell in 2004, and the first Phillies cycle on the road since Johnny Callison in Pittsburgh in 1963. But if it isn’t, I don’t think it’s a great injustice. My first reaction when I watched the play? Single and error.
  • John Mayberry Jr. replaced Howard at first base in the bottom of the eighth inning. It is the second time it has happened in eight days, and it’s a trend that will continue if Howard continues to struggle defensively. (Ryne Sandberg said as much after the game.) Howard has two errors this season, but he recently had a third error reversed. He also had a catchable ball get past him Saturday in a 3-1 loss. It was ruled a hit, but it probably should have been an error. The Phillies simply do not have much margin for error this season, so in close games with a lead the Phillies need to have their best defense on the field. That means more Mayberry at first base and perhaps more Freddy Galvis in the infield and Tony Gwynn Jr. in the outfield.
  • Jonathan Papelbon picked up the save yesterday. He has struggled at Coors Field in the past. He spoke about that, but also being booed by Phillies fans. “To be honest, I enjoy it,” he said. “I kind of relish it. There is a sick side to me. … Guess I’m a sicko.”
  • Phillies catchers are trying to get used to these new catching rules on plays at the plate.

Phils Agree with Frandsen, Tender Four Others

John Mayberry Jr.The Phillies offered no true surprises before todays’s 11:59 p.m. ET deadline to offer contracts to their players eligible for salary arbitration.

They avoided arbitration with infielder Kevin Frandsen, agreeing to a one-year, $900,00 contract, which includes performance bonuses. They also tendered contracts to right-hander Kyle Kendrick, center fielder Ben Revere, left-hander Antonio Bastardo and outfielder John Mayberry Jr.

They were the organization’s only five players eligible for arbitration.

There had been no doubt the Phillies would tender contracts to Kendrick, Revere and Bastardo. The Phillies need Kendrick to fill out the rotation, Revere to play center field and hit atop the lineup and Bastardo to help a beleaguered bullpen.

Frandsen could have been non-tendered had the Phillies felt they were too far apart in contract negotiations. They have infielders like Freddy Galvis, Cesar Hernandez and Reig Brignac to compete for bench jobs in Spring Training.

Mayberry has had an up-and-down time with the Phillies, but he still holds value as a right-handed hitter with power who can play all three outfield positions and first base.

Phillies Remaining Patient with Young

Delmon YoungDelmon Young enters tonight’s game against the Mets hitting .222 with six doubles, six home runs, 17 RBIs and a .677 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 148 plate appearances.

He has not been the consistent right-handed run producer the Phillies had hoped and he is a “below-average defender” in right field, according to the Phillies, but they said yesterday they are sticking with him for a couple reasons:

1. He is a slow starter. He had his best season with the Twins in 2010, when he hit .298 with 46 doubles, one triple, 21 home runs, 112 RBIs and an .826 OPS. Through his first 125 plate appearances that year, Young hit .250 with four homers, 16 RBIs and a .742 OPS. Last season with the Tigers, Young hit .267 with 27 doubles, one triple, 18 homers, 74 RBIs and a .707 OPS. Through 126 plate appearances, he hit just .226 with a .599 OPS.

Here is a look at his OPS by months over his career:

  • March/April: .645
  • May: .673
  • June: .744
  • July : .862
  • August: .741
  • September/October: .760

2. “We don’t have a suitable replacement for him,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. John Mayberry Jr. is hitting .256 with 12 doubles, one triple, five home runs, 18 RBIs and a .752 OPS in 168 plate appearances. He regularly replaces Young in right field late in games. Certainly an argument can be made the Phillies should go with Mayberry in right because he is producing better offensively and is an upgrade defensively, but the Phillies believe Young’s upside — a American League Championship Series MVP Award in 2012, etc. — has earned him a longer look. Mayberry had a chance to earn an everyday job last season, but failed. You wonder if that plays into their thinking. In other words, the Phillies know what Mayberry offers and he has not shown the ability to produce consistently over an extended period of time. With everything as it is, the Phillies seem willing to roll the dice that Young can recapture some of his 2010 magic.

What about Darin Ruf? He is hitting .270 with 18 doubles, seven homers, 36 RBIs and a .778 OPS in 285 plate appearances in Triple-A. I think if Ruf were producing more in Triple A — although he is showing signs of heating up with a 1.055 OPS in his last 12 games — the Phillies would be more eager to bring him up, but he hasn’t so they’ll continue to give Young chances.

“He’s a much better hitter than he’s shown so far,” Amaro said of Young, “but at some point he’s going to have to start providing some offense and proving he can do some things for us or we’re going to have to see if there are other ways to improve the club. But right now we’re going to remain patient with him. And like I said, right now we don’t have a real suitable replacement.”

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MLB.com’s Stephen Pianovich visited Jimmy Rollins‘ charity event last night. Rollins offered some of his thoughts on the team’s chances going forward.

Mayberry’s Historic Night

John Mayberry Jr.,  Freddy Galvis, Domonic Brown
John Mayberry Jr.John Mayberry Jr.
hit a game-tying home run in the 10th inning and a game-winning grand slam in the 11th inning in a 7-3 victory over the Marlins. Mayberry is the first player to hit two extra-inning home runs in one game since Baltimore’s Mike Young in 1987. He is the first player in baseball history to hit two extra-inning home runs in one game with the second home run a walk-off grand slam.

“It feels pretty good, I can’t lie to you,” Mayberry said. “That’s definitely a first. This is one of those days I’ll remember forever.”

Mayberry’s heroics are even more impressive, considering he started the game on the bench. He pinch-hit in the seventh inning and remained in the game as a defensive replacement for Delmon Young in right field. He became the fourth player in Phillies history to hit two home runs in a game as a substitute. He joined Ryan Howard (May 14, 2006, at Cincinnati), Steve Jeltz (June 8, 1989, vs. Pittsburgh) and Jack Knight (June 24, 1926, vs. New York Giants).

He also is the first Phillies player to hit a walk-off grand slam in extra innings since Dale Murphy on Aug. 6, 1991, against the Cubs.

The victory puts the Phillies (29-30) in position to be .500 for the first time since April 14 with a victory Wednesday. Can they finally get there? They only need to beat the Marlins, who are on pace to lose 115 games.

“We’re going to be trying like hell,” Charlie Manuel said.

Read the entire game story here, including thoughts from Manuel and Ben Revere on Bob Davidson‘s horrendous interference call in the eighth inning.

The Outfield Battle

John Mayberry Jr., Domonic BrownThe Phillies play their seventh Grapefruit League game today against the Yankees in Tampa.

Roy Halladay pitches for the Phillies. They were encouraged with what they saw from him in Sunday’s start against Detroit, but it was just one start in February. You can’t draw any conclusions from anything you’ve seen so far in camp. Of course, the players that are playing well say it’s great to get results and those results mean something to them. The players that aren’t getting results? Well, they’re just getting their work in.

I took a look yesterday at the outfielders competing for jobs and playing time. Domonic Brown clearly has taken a step forward, but there is time for the others to state their case. Interestingly, Charlie Manuel pulled John Mayberry Jr. to the side during batting practice before their 10-5 victory over Atlanta and had an animated conversation with him about just that. Delmon Young also talked about his trip to the doctor in Tuesday in LA. He’s optimistic he will get good news, which will allow him to step up his rehab.

Read about the details here.

New Faces, Mayberry and Chooch

Quite a bit of turnover this week, huh?

Gone from the roster are Michael Schwimer, Joe Savery, Brian Sanches and Erik Kratz. Laynce Nix landed on the DL, but we’ll throw him in there, too. Replacing them are Cliff LeeJake Diekman, Raul Valdes, Hector Luna and Mike Fontenot.

There are no major trades to be made in early May, so the Phillies front office tweaked a few things in hopes of improving the bullpen and providing a spark to the bench. Although it goes without saying Nix is the biggest loss of that bunch. He is hitting .326 with a .979 OPS.

The most intriguing name of the recent arrivals (not including Lee) is Diekman. The Phillies love his potential and he put up great numbers in Triple-A. If he can handle the promotion and the adjustment to big-league hitters, he could have an impact on the bullpen like Mike Stutes had last season.

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I’m off this weekend, but Paul Hagen is covering the series. Here’s his game story from last night’s victory over San Diego.

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John Mayberry Jr. was hitting .175 on April 22. He is hitting .314 (11-for-35) with two doubles, one home run and four RBIs since. It would be a tremendous lift for the lineup if he can get going.

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Carlos Ruiz is third among big-league catchers in home runs (six), first in RBIs (22), first in batting average (.340), third in on-base percentage (.381) and first in slugging (.606). If Ruiz keeps this up he could be headed to his first All-Star Game.

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • June 16: Barnes & Noble, 4801 Concord Pike, Wilmington, Del., 2:00 p.m.

Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.

Turning Things Around?

This has been a welcomed change of pace.

The Phillies had two late-inning rallies the last two nights, which means I finally had something interesting to write about. As boring as most of April was for you, it was just as boring for me. It’s not fun writing different versions of the same story over and over. And it’s certainly not fun having to ask Charlie Manuel and the players different versions of the same questions over and over.  They get tired of the questions. We get tired of asking them. But we know you want to know what’s on their minds, so we ask away.

The Phillies have won five of their last seven games. They are hitting .266/.312/.384 and averaging 4.6 runs per game in that stretch.

They might as well be the ’27 Yankees compared to the start of their season. The Phillies hit .243/.286/.334 and averaged 2.8 runs per game through their 7-10 start. The only stretch I recall that was more painful was that 12-game stretch May 22 – June 4, 2010, when they hit .197/.277/.274 and averaged 1.4 runs per game, getting shutout five times and never scoring more than three runs in any game.

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