Results tagged ‘ John Mayberry Jr. ’

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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Pence Injures Left Shoulder; Day-to-Day

For the first time this season Charlie Manuel did not write Hunter Pence’s name into the starting lineup.

A much needed break in the midst of a 0-for-15 slump?

Not exactly. Pence injured his left shoulder diving for a ball in the third inning in yesterday’s series finale against the Padres at PETCO Park. John Mayberry Jr. is the rightfielder for tonight’s series opener against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field.

Ruben Amaro Jr. said Pence is day-to-day.

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Opening Day Thoughts

Like the crane kick from Ty Wigginton.

A few thoughts on Opening Day:

  • Roy Halladay dominated as usual. He allowed two hits and struck out five in eight scoreless innings. Much has been made about his 5.73 ERA this spring — he hadn’t had worse than a 4.00 ERA in his previous six springs — but I think a few things went into that. First, this team has enough concerns with its offense (i.e. injuries to Ryan Howard and Chase Utley). An injury or slippage from one of the Big Three could be catastrophic and had fans wearing the worst. Second, there already was last month’s report that Halladay isn’t throwing as hard or looking as sharp. Third, Halladay acknowledged his right arm has a lot of miles on it. That is something everybody knows, but I think it hit some people that, “Hey, this guy isn’t going to pitch forever. Is he winding down earlier than we thought?” Halladay’s fastball averaged 90.16 mph yesterday, according to pitch f/x data. It topped out at 90.9. Last year his fastball averaged 91.3 mph. What do we make of this? He isn’t throwing as hard, but it’s just one start and it’s early in the season (obviously). But hitting is timing and pitching is upsetting timing. Halladay is a master on the mound because he changes speeds and has pinpoint control of his pitches. Losing a little on his fastball shouldn’t make him Adam Eaton. (God forbid). And I believe in a player’s track record. Until Halladay shows he isn’t one of the best pitchers in baseball — if not the best — I will continue to expect him to be one of the best pitchers in baseball. I’m sure the Pirates thought he was yesterday.
  • The offense didn’t alleviate any of its concerns, but it’s one game.
  • Charlie Manuel started John Mayberry Jr. in left field, in part because he wanted the righty-lefty matchup against Pirates left-hander Erik Bedard, but also because he wanted to show a little faith in Mayberry. Mayberry, who had a bad spring, rewarded him, going 2-for-4 with a double and making a couple nice catches in left field. Mayberry is this lineup’s wild card. If he can continue last season’s success it would be a huge boost to the offense while Howard and Utley are out.
  • Freddy Galvis bounced into a couple double plays in his first two at-bats, but he looked good in the field. That’s why the Phillies have him. He can play defense, which is what you want with Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.
  • Jonathan Papelbon showed us Cinco Ocho for the first time.

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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:

  • April 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.
  • May 10: Tredyfrrin Public Library in Stafford, PA, 7:30 p.m.

Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.

Dom Down

The Phillies optioned Domonic Brown to Minor League camp this morning.

Brown had trouble getting on the field this month. He sprained his right thumb March 8 and suffered from a stiff neck for the past week, limiting him to just seven Grapefruit League games. He hit .300 (6 for 20) with two triples, one home run, two RBIs, one walk and a .983 OPS, but also showed he needed more work in left field, which has been a struggle.

Brown, although not surprised, was clearly disappointed.

“Life goes on,” he said. “I’m going to go down there and play hard. And that’s it. I was not expecting it, but keeping it in the back of my mind. We’ve got a lot of big-name free agent guys. John Mayberry is playing well. They just told me they want to see me out there every day, so Triple-A is the best spot for it. I’ve been through a lot these last couple years. A lot more than some veteran guys, so I think I can deal with it. I think I can handle it. Go down there and play hard and that’s all I can do.”

The Phillies said in the offseason they planned to have Brown start the season in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he can work on his offense and defense. The Phillies believe they have enough options in left field to open the season, even with Mayberry expected to play some first base while Ryan Howard is out. Laynce Nix and Juan Pierre, who is the favorite to be the team’s fifth outfielder, can play left field when Mayberry is at first.

Asked if playing in Triple-A will at least give him a clear mind, Brown said, “No, I wanted to be here, man. That’s the goal, but things happen.”

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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:

  • April 2: Barnes & Noble in Plymouth Meeting, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 3: Chester County Book Company in West Chester, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.
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