Results tagged ‘ John Mayberry Jr. ’
Where’s the pop?
He mentioned Chase Utley, Jayson Werth and Pat Burrell in a lengthy discussion. Utley is hurt, Werth is in Washington and Burrell is in San Francisco. Each of them had high on-base percentages, and each of them knew how to work counts. They also could drive the ball. The Phillies certainly have been missing that lately. The Phillies have just nine extra-base hits since April 9, which is last in baseball. (The Cardinals are first with 42. The Marlins are second-to-last with 14.) Those numbers are a bit misleading because some teams have played nine games in that span while the Phillies have played seven. But here’s what is not misleading: the Phillies also have a .290 slugging percentage in that span, which is last in baseball.
The Phillies, whose 38 extra-base hits for the season rank 25th, have a serious power outage.
But before folks say, “It’s a long season,” remember, it’s Manuel expressing these concerns.
“I know people are going to say, ‘Well, you’ve got the starting pitching.’ Yeah, that’s part of it,” Manuel said. “But at the same time, usually when you talk about a World Series team or something like that, you’re talking about a top-notch team. I’m not saying we don’t have that, but we could have it. It’s going to take some work. We’ve got to improve in some areas, and we’ve got to hope our players live up to their career averages and their career performances.”
A couple random thoughts:
- When is John Mayberry Jr. going to get a start? Raul Ibanez has started every game this season. Ben Francisco has started all but one. Ibanez has hit .189 (7 for 37) in his last nine games. Francisco has hit .111 (2 for 18) in his last five. The Phillies are facing left-handers Randy Wolf and Chris Narveson the next two games. Mayberry has been great off the bench, but he’s got to play to stay sharp. Manuel expressed his concerns countless times this spring about his outfield’s defense. He lamented the fact yesterday his corner outfielders haven’t hit for power. Mayberry can play defense and hit for power. Throwing him out there at least once a week wouldn’t seem to be the worst thing in the world right now.
- One second Danys Baez is pitching in a big spot — replacing J.C. Romero and remaining in the game to face Greg Dobbs on Friday — the next second the Phillies are bringing in long man Kyle Kendrick in a tie game and Baez is the last man standing in the bullpen. How quickly things change.
- Who knows if this is just a rough stretch for the offense or not, but what if this is who the Phillies are? Say they are a light-hitting team. You can’t look around and say, “Well, here’s an obvious way to upgrade the lineup.” Manuel just has to hope things return to normal and Utley comes back and stays healthy. Otherwise they’re really going to need the rotation to be superheroes.
Domonic Brown‘s chances to win the everyday job in right field evaporated today when he fractured his right hand.
Surgery is likely, which would sideline him three to six weeks.
Brown fractured the hook of the hamate bone swinging at the first pitch in his first at-bat in the second inning against the Pirates at Bright House Field. He finished the at-bat, singling up the middle to end a 0-for-15 start to his Grapefruit League season. Brown left the game before the top of the third, returning to the clubhouse and leaving the ballpark quickly for an x-ray.
Brown will fly early next week to Philadelphia, where hand specialist Randall Culp will evaluate him. If the initial x-ray is accurate, surgery seems inevitable.
“Probably,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “We won’t know until it’s definitive. What the x-ray reveals right now is what is believed to be a fracture.”
Brown’s loss practically guarantees Ben Francisco will be the Opening Day rightfielder, although Amaro declared nobody a winner in those sweepstakes. Francisco, Brown and John Mayberry Jr. opened the spring as the top contenders to replace Jayson Werth. Brown struggled early as he tried to get comfortable with a new stance at the plate.
“Nobody has won our right field job, but Ben has done very, very well for us,” Amaro said.
Francisco went 2 for 3 with one double, one home run and one RBI against the Pirates. He is hitting .421 (8 for 19) with two doubles, one triple, two home runs and six RBIs in seven games this spring.
The numbers are not pretty, but it’s early and Domonic Brown said he feels fine.
Well, he feels mostly fine.
“I’m just trying to feel comfortable,” he said today at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. “I’m just trying to stay with the same approach. I’ve been working all winter with it. It’s the first couple days I’m seeing pitches. I know it’s going to happen. I’m not stressing about anything.”
Brown is 0 for 9 with two walks and six strikeouts in three Grapefruit League games. He went 0 for 4 with one walk and two strikeouts today against the Blue Jays.
Brown has been working with his stance since the end of last season. He has tried to lower his hands, and he has not found the perfect spot yet. His held his hands much lower in the batter’s box Sunday against the New York Yankees at Bright House Field, where he went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts. He held his hands noticeably higher today, but still lower than they were last season when he played with the Phillies.
The Phillies have reached agreement with almost everybody in camp. Here is a look at some of their recent agreements:
- Domonic Brown: $89,180 in Minors, $414,000 in Majors. Award bonus: $25,000 for Rookie of the Year.
- Andrew Carpenter: $67,300 in Minors, $414,000 in Majors.
- Freddy Galvis: $33,600 in Minors, $414,000 in Majors.
- Harold Garcia: $33,600 in Minors, $414,000 in Majors.
- Cesar Hernandez: $33,600 in Minors, $414,000 in Majors.
- John Mayberry Jr.: $103,969 in Minors, $414,000 in Majors.
- Carlos Rivero: $67,300 in Minors, $414,000 in Majors.
- Vance Worley: $67,300 in Minors, $414,000 in Majors.
As as I write this, Charlie Manuel is giving his speech to the 2011 Phillies.
He usually wings it, but players always seem to enjoy it.
Today is first full squad workout.
One thing from yesterday, which I neglected:
Asked how the pieces will fit in right field, Manuel said, “We’ve got some young guys that have a chance to make an impact. … Domonic Brown, definitely, he’s kind of the first choice there, but (Ben) Francisco and (John) Mayberry, I definitely want to play them a lot and see them and see where they fit on the team.”
Manuel later tried to clairfy.
“That job is up for grabs,” he said.
He said he simply plans on giving Brown plenty of at-bats this spring, but clearly the Phillies need another right-handed bat in the lineup. That’s why Francisco and Mayberry are in the mix.
I spoke with Ben Francisco the other day, and I think the first question I asked is how aware he is that Phillies fans are intensely focused on how the Phillies are replacing Jayson Werth in right field? If you could total every Phillies blog, message board, Internet story, newspaper story and time on sports talk radio devoted to the Phillies’ offseason, Cliff Lee would be the No. 1 topic and Werth and right field would be No. 2.
Nothing else would come close.
Check out the story here to see what Francisco and Ruben Amaro Jr. had to say.
I’ve said many times I’m not overly concerned about right field. I know Amaro has downplayed Werth’s production, but despite a one-year blip with runners in scoring position (it was a very big blip) Werth has been one of the most productive hitters on the team the past few seasons. But I think some combination of Francisco, Domonic Brown, Ross Gload and John Mayberry Jr. could work.
Still no word on the severity of Shane Victorino‘s strained left oblique, but we know the injury can be tricky.
It certainly would not be a good time to lose Victorino. Chase Utley is out another month, and Jimmy Rollins seems unlikely to play tonight because of a bruised left foot. Charlie Manuel said yesterday Rollins could miss a couple days. The sooner he is back the better. Rollins had started to swing the bat better, and the offense had started to get on a roll. They also just crawled within 3 1/2 games of the Braves after last night’s 9-5 victory over the Diamondbacks. Now would not be a good time for another deep offensive funk — and losing Rollins and Victorino for a stretch could contrbute to that.
But there are a couple things worth mentioning should Victorino land on the DL:
- They’ve got to call up Domonic Brown, right? He is the best outfielder in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and the object is to put the best product on the field. They could call up John Mayberry Jr., but based on performance Brown is more likely to come up with a big hit.
- The Phillies almost certainly would not trade Jayson Werth, if Victorino is going to miss a significant stretch. I mentioned earlier this week the Phillies do not have to trade Werth to acquire Roy Oswalt. This might make that decision a little easier for them.
The Phillies remain top contenders for Oswalt, although consummating a trade will be difficult before Saturday’s 4 p.m. deadline. Sources said yesterday that Oswalt would waive his no-trade clause to play in Philadelphia, which echoed what Oswalt said Monday. Sources also said his $16 million club option for 2012 is not the sticking point it has been made to be, indicating Oswalt might not make the Phillies pick up the option, if it meant being traded or remaining in Houston.
That is important. If Oswalt requires the Phillies to pick up the option, a deal might be too difficult to stomach because of the prospects the Phillies are expected to deliver and the money they already have committed to future payrolls. If he does not, it would be easier for the Phillies to pull the trigger.
It remains to be seen if the Phillies and Astros can agree on prospects. The Astros have scouted left-hander J.A. Happ, which indicates he could be part of the deal. Astros general manager Ed Wade personally scouted Class A Lakewood recently. (Hint, hint, they know the talent in Lakewood very well.)
The Phillies optioned John Mayberry Jr. to Minor League camp this morning, but expect him back at some point. If an outfielder should get hurt at the big-league level, I think Mayberry would be the first guy up.
He hit .289 (11-for-38) with one homer, six RBIs, four walks and seven strikeouts this spring. He hit .246 (17-for-69) with three homers, 10 RBIs, three walks and 21 strikeouts last spring.
“He’s improved,” Charlie Manuel said. “We figure he needs to go out and play. At the same time I also told him that he has to hit right-handed pitchers better. He hits left-handers real good. He’s got some things he needs to learn about his hitting.
“Once he improves against right-handed pitchers, just like I told Jayson Werth, he’s got a chance to be real good. He’s a good outfielder that can play center field. I don’t know if he can play a 162-game schedule in center field, but he can go in there and play for a while. I look at him mostly as a corner guy though. John is going to play in the big leagues, and he’s going to play for a while.”
Just five days remaining before the Phillies fly north to Philadelphia.
Just eight days remaining before Opening Day.
Ready to get home.
But first a little business. The Phillies today optioned John Mayberry Jr. to Minor League camp. They also reassigned catcher Dane Sardinha and infielder Ozzie Chavez. No surprises there. Mayberry hit .289 with three doubles, one home run and six RBIs this spring. If something should happen to one of the Phillies’ outfielders this season he likely would be the first man up.
Raul Ibanez isn’t in today’s lineup against the Pirates. He got hit with a pitch in the right elbow Friday night. He had his elbow wrapped in ice this morning. Not a good spring for Ibanez. He is hitting .098 (4 for 41), easily the worst spring of his professional career since he became an everyday player in 2002.
Here is the pitching schedule the remainder of the exhibition season:
- Monday vs. Braves: J.A. Happ, Antonio Bastardo, Chad Durbin and Danys Baez.
- Tuesday @ Astros: Kyle Kendrick, Jose Contreras, David Herndon and Baez.
- Wednesday vs. Blue Jays: Roy Halladay, Ryan Madson and Durbin.
- Thursday vs. Pirates: Baez, Bastardo, Madson and Herndon.
- Friday vs. Pirates at Citizens Bank Park: Cole Hamels, Jamie Moyer, Bastardo and Contreras.
- Saturday vs. Pirates at Citizens Bank Park: Blanton, Happ, Madson and Durbin.
Thanks to the folks who voted for The Zo Zone in The Phield. Make sure to log onto the site Monday where I’ll be playing my Elite Eight game against Balls, Sticks, & Stuff. Kudos to I Want to Go to the Zoo with Roy Halladay, who put up a good fight.
Rich Dubee pronounced Kendrick the favorite to win the last job in the Phillies’ rotation last spring, but a few weeks later the Phillies sent him to the Minors. It seemed that Dubee wanted to build confidence in Kendrick, who had been competing with J.A. Happ, Chan Ho Park and Carlos Carrasco. In reality, Kendrick needed time to develop his secondary pitches. But praise of Kendrick this spring seems more genuine, and for good reason. He has pitched well. He threw three scoreless innings today in a 7-5 loss to the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field to continue to build his case for the final job in the 2010 rotation.
Kendrick has thrown five scoreless innings this spring. He has allowed just two hits and has struck out two.
“What I’ve seen this year, he’s a completely different guy,” Carlos Ruiz said.
Kendrick’s top competitor for the fifth job is left-hander Jamie Moyer, who faces the Blue Jays in a “B” game Wednesday.
Here is the rub: If both Kendrick and Moyer pitch well this spring Moyer might have the edge because of his experience and $8 million salary. Kendrick, who makes $480,000 at the big-league level, could start the season in Triple A or in the Phillies’ bullpen. Anything but the Minors, Kendrick said.
“If it’s the fifth man, great. If it’s the bullpen, I’m happy with that, too,” he said. “I just want to have a good year, a good full season in the big leagues and go from there. If it’s the fifth guy or in the bullpen, so be it. But I’ll be happy wherever it’s at.”
Shane Victorino (sore shoulder) makes his Grapefruit League debut tomorrow night against the Braves in Lake Buena Vista. Roy Halladay pitches. … Jose Contreras allowed six hits, six runs and three walks in just 1 2/3 innings against the Yankees, although Charlie Manuel deflected blame to sloppy play in the field. … Jimmy Rollins and John Mayberry Jr. each hit solo homers.