Results tagged ‘ John Mayberry Jr. ’

Mayberry Shows Improvement

mayberry spring.jpgThe 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.”

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The Phield continues its Elite Eight matchups tomorrow, and The Zo Zone will be facing Balls, Sticks, & Stuff. Voting begins at 8 a.m. Vote! 

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Sunday Morning Notes

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.

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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.

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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.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Kendrick Is Looking Good

kendrick 0308.jpgThings are different this spring for Kyle Kendrick.

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.”

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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.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

We're Talking AFL and Winter Ball

The Phillies are making calls to agents, general managers and players, trying to construct a 25-man roster that will take them back to the World Series in 2010. But while Ruben Amaro Jr. works on the present, the future is working elsewhere.

The Arizona Fall League’s season is complete, but winter league baseball in Mexico, Venezuela and Puerto Rico is underway. Here’s a look at some of the position players in action.

  • Domonic Brown (20th-round pick in 2006): Baseball America considers Brown, a 6-foot-5 outfielder, to be the organization’s top prospect. He hit .229 with nine doubles, two triples, two home runs and 18 RBIs in 30 games for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League. He made the AFL All-Star team after hitting the ball well to start the season, but he struggled near the end. “I think he was probably pressing some toward the end,” assistant GM Benny Looper said on Monday. “It’s been a long year for him, and he probably needs a break right now. He has the tools. He’s an exciting guy to watch. He did fine.”
  • Michael Taylor (fifth-round pick in 2007): Baseball America ranks Taylor, a 6-foot-6 outfielder, as the organization’s No. 3 prospect, following Brown and right-hander Kyle Drabek. Taylor is hitting .308 with four doubles, one home run and 11 RBIs in 19 games in Mexico. “He’s handled his own,” Looper said. “We wanted him to see the veteran pitchers in that league, who will use the breaking pitches behind in the count.”
  • Sebastian Valle (signed as an amateur free agent in 2006): The organization’s seventh-best prospect according to Baseball America, the 6-foot-1 catcher is showing that he can hit in Mexico, going .303 with five doubles, one triple, 10 home runs and 24 RBIs in 29 games. “We thought he was going to hit,” Looper said. “I heard that before I came here. And after watching him this year, we think he has a good chance to hit. He needs to improve his footwork behind the plate, the catching and throwing. But he’s playing against some veterans down there and he’s holding his own, maybe doing a little better than that. He’s got good bat speed. He’ll hit for some power, but he’s a guy that will square up a lot of pitches. He’s got a pretty good idea up there with his bat.”
  • John Mayberry Jr. (first-round pick in 2005 by Texas): The outfielder is hitting .314 with four doubles, seven home runs and 23 RBIs in 32 games. “Mayberry has done all right,” Looper said. “One of the reasons we wanted him to go to Mexico was to see a lot of breaking pitches, which he has seen a lot of. He has made some adjustments and has hit some home runs.”
  • Tuffy Gosewisch (11th-round pick in 2006): The catcher hit .318 with two doubles and five RBIs in 11 games. “He’s a catch-and-throw guy,” Looper said. “If he can hit a little bit, he has a chance to be a big league backup catcher, at the minimum.”
  • Quintin Berry (fifth-round pick in 2006): Berry, whom the Phillies added to the 40-man roster last week to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft, just got started in Puerto Rico. He is hitting .154 with four walks in seven games.

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Postseason Roster Takes Shape

taschner 0930.jpgIt took longer than expected, but the regular season finally ended this afternoon when Paul Hoover scored John Mayberry Jr. in the bottom of the 10th inning in a 7-6 victory over the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.

Onto the postseason …

The Phillies have off tomorrow and will hold a workout Tuesday before Game 1 against the Rockies at 2:37 p.m. Wednesday. (It could be Cole Hamels vs. Ubaldo Jimenez.) But there will be meetings and discussions about the postseason roster in the meantime. The Phillies do not need to submit their 25-man roster until 10 a.m. Wednesday, but there were clues and answers about it after the game:

  • Charlie Manuel said he might not take 12 pitchers. “I might go with 11,” he said. “I don’t know yet.”
  • Manuel could be thinking about 11 pitchers because Miguel Cairo has been playing well. He went 2-for-4 with a triple, home run and one RBI yesterday. He has hit .357 (10-for-28) with two doubles, one triple, one home run and two RBIs since he rejoined the team Aug. 29.
  • But before you start thinking Cairo could bump Eric Bruntlett, Manuel said he finds value in Bruntlett because he can play everywhere in the field, especially the outfield. The Phillies also consider him a better shortstop than Cairo. He can run, too. Bruntlett scored the winning runs in Games 3 and 5 of the World Series. I don’t think it’s Bruntlett or Cairo. I think it’s Bruntlett and maybe Cairo, although I have been surprised before.
  • Manuel sounds like he likes left-hander J.A. Happ in the rotation because the Rockies have a lineup loaded with left-handers. Happ shutout the Rockies in August, which helps his cause. But the Phillies also might need Happ in the bullpen because Scott Eyre looks like the only other lefty in the pen. “I always have looked at (Happ) as a starter and his success this year has been as a starter,” Manuel said. “I’m not ready to reveal what we’re going to do yet because I don’t know exactly what we’re going to do.”
  • Left-hander Jack Taschner quietly cleaned out his locker. The Phillies told him he would not be needed. Taschner was not surprised, but was upset nonetheless. He went 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in 24 appearances. The Phillies designated him for assignment earlier this season. He asked for his release, but the Phillies did not grant it. He pitched in the Minors and rejoined the team last week after suffering a back injury. He pitched just once. Taschner is salary arbitration eligible, but does not expect to be back next season. “I’m not going to say anything,” he told me. “What is done is done.” Ruben Amaro Jr. later told me, “As far as his future here, we haven’t made any decisions. It was a tough year for him. Frankly, I think because he struggled earlier in the year, it was one of the reasons why he didn’t pitch a lot because he didn’t perform at the level we would have liked. He was caught in a Catch 22. He didn’t pitch a lot, and when he did he wasn’t as effective. I like Jack a lot.” Taschner changed his mechanics in the Minors, which Amaro said could prove beneficial next season. If he is back.
  • Amaro also said while Taschner’s season is over, the Phillies have sent left-hander Sergio Escalona and Mayberry to Clearwater, Fla., to play in case they are needed.
  • Before Taschner cleared out his locker and before Amaro said Escalona was headed to Clearwater, Manuel said it would be tough to put Taschner, Escalona and left-hander Antonio Bastardo into big-game situations. I would surprised to see Bastardo to make the roster based simply off what Manuel said. “It’s kind of hard to put a young kid in there,” he said.
  • He said Brett Myers is ready to pitch in short bursts, but not multiple innings. Myers pronounced himself ready to go in back-to-back games. I expect him to be on the roster.
  • With Taschner, Escalona and most likely Bastardo out, that would leave Clay Condrey, Chad Durbin, Eyre, Kyle Kendrick, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Myers, Tyler Walker and Happ/Pedro Martinez as bullpen candidates.

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Games 1 and 2 will be played at 2:37 p.m., which was not unexpected. Game 2 in Colorado will start at 9:37 p.m.

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Devastating? It Depends


prado 0630.jpgChipper Jones
had an interesting take on last night’s 5-4 victory in 10 innings over the Phillies.

“I would have labeled this game if we’d have lost it as devastating,” he said.

Nobody in the Phillies clubhouse at Turner Field used the word devastating to describe the loss, but they could have. John Mayberry Jr. and Pedro Feliz hit back-to-back, two-out solo home runs in the eighth inning to take a one-run lead, but the Phillies blew that lead in the eighth and ultimately lost in 10.

The Phillies have lost 12 of 16, and they hold just a 1 1/2 game lead over the Marlins in the NL East.

“We’ve been finding ways to lose games,” Jayson Werth said. “We’ve got to turn this thing around and get back to playing the type of baseball that made us champs last year.”

Any idea why this is still happening?

“Like I said, it seems like anything we can do to lose a game right now we’re doing it,” Werth said. “Both sides of the ball. We’re all right, though. We’re still really good. I still feel like we’re the best team in baseball. We’ve just to find a way to start winning games. We’ll be all right.”

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Jimmy Rollins went 0 for 5 in his return to the lineup. He is hitless in his last 24 at-bats. Fans chanted, “208! 208!” as Rollins hit in the ninth. They were referring to Rollins’ batting average.

Rollins struck out to drop his average to .207.

“His timing wasn’t good,” Charlie Manuel said. “It wasn’t like he was swinging real bad, but he didn’t hit a ball hard. His timing was a little bit off. He’ll be OK. He’ll be fine. He’ll be OK.”

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Ryan Madson is 0-2 with a 9.53 ERA (six earned runs in 5 2/3 innings) and three blown saves in his last six appearances. He has allowed nine hits and seven walks in that span.

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Ibanez on the DL


ibanez vs. atlanta.jpgRaul Ibanez
is hurt.

The Phillies placed him on the 15-day disabled list today with a strained left groin, which has been bothering him off-and-on since April. He will have a MRI later today.

Outfielder John Mayberry Jr. has been recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take his place.

“It really wasn’t that much of an issue for him until more recently,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

Obviously, this is a blow to the Phillies lineup. He is hitting .312 with 22 homers and 59 RBIs, but he has been struggling at the plate recently.

Ibanez also has been bothered with a sore left Achilles, but Amaro said the Achilles “is pretty well resolved” and unrelated to the groin injury.

Is Ibanez expected to miss just 15 days?

“I don’t know,” Amaro said. “It could be longer. But it’s to the point where we need to shut him down and make sure we get him healthy. …. We’ll find out as he goes through his rehab and does the things that he needs to do to get it calmed down. We’ll monitor him every day. We’ll see how he feels. Hopefully he’ll heal properly and he’ll be ready in 15 days. That’s the plan. That’d be great, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen.

“He was not pleased with it. I know he wants to play. But I think, just like in (Brad Lidge‘s) situation, we kind of have to see the forest through the trees here. He stood a chance to really damage the groin if he continues to play on it. And if he does that he could be out for a very, very long period of time. That just doesn’t make any sense for us to do that.”

Ibanez is expected to speak after the game.

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Brad Lidge threw 42 pitches in a bullpen session today. He said he feels good. He could begin a rehab assignment tomorrow with Double-A Reading. He could make another appearance with Reading on Sunday. If that goes well, he could be ready for next week’s series against the Rays in Tampa.

“Those two outings need to go really good,” Lidge said. “If they do I can come off maybe on Tuesday. If I still need a little more time I might do another rehab outing, maybe on Tuesday.”

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Former Phillies general manager Pat Gillick, special assistant to the GM Charley Kerfeld and director of major league scouting Gordon Lakey are here today, but not because a trade is imminent or anything. They’re getting their World Series rings, just like everybody else in the organization.

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Joe Blanton‘s intro music is Brooks and Dunn’s Hillbilly Deluxe. Not that you were asking, but I was, so I thought I’d pass it along.

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Bastardo vs. Peavy

bastardo.jpgTonight’s game at Petco Park has some intrigue to it.

Phillies rookie Antonio Bastardo, who is taking Brett Myers‘ place in the rotation, faces Padres ace Jake Peavy, who the Phillies would like to take Myers’ place in the rotation (Roy Halladay or Roy Oswalt wouldn’t be bad, either).

It is true Peavy is a long shot to come to Philadelphia, but that does not mean the Phillies aren’t interested. We’ve been over this before. The Phillies and Padres would have to agree on the talent to be exchanged for Peavy, which is not easy. The Phillies would have to decide if they can take on the remaining $63 million on Peavy’s contract — no small task considering the Phillies have nearly $100 committed to a handful of players next season. And, oh, Peavy would have to waive his no-trade clause to make it happen, and there are indications he would be unwilling to do that.

But who knows? Maybe Peavy can’t work a trade to one of his preferred teams (Cubs, Dodgers) and has to think to himself, “Either I stay with the Padres, where they’ll have to cut payroll elsewhere, or I go to Philadelphia for three years.”

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The Phillies optioned John Mayberry Jr. to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make room for Bastardo. The Phillies want Mayberry to play everyday. When the Phillies activate J.C. Romero after tonight’s game, I imagine left-hander Sergio Escalona will be headed back to the Minors.

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The Pen – the reality series featuring the Phillies bullpen – debuts Sun., June 14 @ 8 pm on MLB Network.

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Road Trippin'

phils 052409.jpgThe Phillies went 8-2 on their just completed trip through Washington, Cincinnati and New York. That’s their first 8-2 trip since Sept. 2007, when they handled the Mets, Cardinals and Nationals on their way to winning the National League East for the first time since 1993.

Some interesting numbers/things/events during the trip:

  • They kicked things off at the White House on May 15.
  • Brad Lidge had three saves and three blown saves.
  • Rookies Sergio Escalona and Andrew Carpenter picked up wins in Washington.
  • Rookie John Mayberry got his first big-league hit, a three-run home run at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.
  • Chan Ho Park got bumped to the bullpen. J.A. Happ took his place and allowed two runs in six innings Saturday against the Yankees.
  • The Phillies were tied for second in the majors with the Twins with 65 runs scored in that span (May 15-24). Only the Blue Jays (74) scored more.
  • They hit .288 with 18 home runs, 62 RBIs, a .363 on-base percentage and a .510 slugging percentage. They stole 12 bases and got caught just twice.
  • They had a 4.63 ERA, which ranked 24th in baseball.
  • Raul Ibanez scored 11 runs, which tied for second in baseball in that span. Jimmy Rollins scored 10, which tied for fifth.
  • Ibanez led the majors with seven homers and 17 RBIs.

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Phillies starters have a 6.03 ERA, which is the worst mark in baseball. Lidge has a 9.15 ERA, which is the second-worst ERA in baseball for a relief pitcher. Only Cincinnati’s Mike Lincoln (9.19 ERA) is higher.

But yet the Phillies are six games over .500 to the lead the NL East and have the fourth-best record in the National League. Explain that one.

OK. They’re averaging 5.69 runs per game, which is the second-best mark in baseball. Only the Rays (5.72 runs per game) have been better. They also have committed just 13 errors, which is the fewest in baseball. That’s four fewer than any other team in baseball and 22 fewer errors than the Mets. The Phillies are hitting and playing great defense. If you’re a Phillies fan, you have to like your chances if the rotation can pitch more consistently (they looked good this weekend against the Yankees) and Lidge figures out a few things.

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Mayberry Makes His Mark

mayberry 0523.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not a bad day for John Mayberry Jr.

He makes his Major League debut Saturday against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. He gets his first hit … a three-run home run to left field against Andy Pettitte. He then stretches a single into a double in the seventh inning.

And his dad gets on TV.

Well, the first dad wasn’t his dad. It was just some guy. I noticed that almost immediately because I interviewed Mayberry Sr. during Spring Training. I was like, “Why is Mayberry’s dad wearing a Panama hat and jersey? Wait a second … “

Hilarity ensued.

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Mayberry was the first Phillies to have his first big-league hit a home run since Chase Utley hit a grand slam against the Rockies on April 24, 2003, at Veterans Stadium.

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