Results tagged ‘ John Mayberry Jr. ’

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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Giles Released; Mayberry and Carrasco Optioned

marcus giles.jpgThe Phillies made a few roster moves this morning:

- Marcus Giles has been released.
- John Mayberry Jr. and Carlos Carrasco have been optioned to Minor League camp.
- Mike Koplove, Jason Ellison and Pablo Ozuna have been told they will not be making the 25-man roster, but will accompany the team to Philadelphia for the On Deck Series on Friday and Saturday against the Tampa Bay Rays at Citizens Bank Park.

The moves leave Miguel Cairo as the only potential righthanded bat that could make the Phillies’ bench, unless the Phillies make a trade before Opening Night. They continue to look for that righthanded bat, by the way. It also leaves Bobby Mosebach and Gary Majewski as potential bullpen candidates, although their chances took a big hit Friday when the Phillies acquired left-hander Jack Taschner from the Giants.

“I don’t blame their decision,” Giles said. “I got every chance in the world. It’s not their fault. There’s nobody to blame but myself. I would have made the same decision they did to be honest with you. I’m not a guy to make excuses. I had my chance.”

Giles had signed a Minor League contract with the Phillies, so they could have re-assigned him to Minor League camp. But with a glut of infielders at Triple-A, the Phillies figured it made more sense to let him go.

“I’m not going to get the at-bats I need there,” Giles said. “So in a nutshell, I think they did me a favor by giving me my release instead of sending me to Triple-A to play once or twice a week. I just need some consistent AB’s. I think I can make it back to this level.”

So how’s the 25-man roster going to look? Remember the Phillies don’t need a fifth starter until April 20, so they could open with 11 pitchers. If they open with 11, I think J.A. Happ makes the rotation, Chan Ho Park makes the bullpen and Cairo is the extra man on the bench. That would buy them time to move Geoff Jenkins or Matt Stairs before they need that fifth starter, which would move them back to 12 pitchers. If they open with 12 pitchers, I still think it’s Happ in the rotation and Park in the bullpen.

And don’t rule out the Phillies making a move before Opening Night or the first couple weeks of the season.

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The Braves have their rotation set for next week’s series against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park: Derek Lowe (14-11, 3.24 ERA in 2008) on Sunday, Jair Jurrjens (13-10, 3.68 ERA) on Tuesday and Javier Vazquez (12-16, 4.67 ERA) on Wednesday. 

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Phillies vs. Pirates – 3/13

tikibar.jpgHere is the lineup for today’s game against the Pirates at Bright House Field:

1. Eric Bruntlett, LF
2. Jason Donald, SS
3. Raul Ibanez, DH
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Jayson Werth, CF
6. John Mayberry Jr., RF
7. Pedro Feliz, 3B
8. Miguel Cairo, 2B
9. Carlos Ruiz, C

Scheduled to pitch: Joe Blanton, Bobby Mosebach and Ryan Madson.

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We took a look yesterday at the bench situation. I’m really not sure which way it will break, and I’m not sure the Phillies do, either. But I do sense they prefer Jason Donald and John Mayberry Jr. get regular at-bats in the minor leagues than get a couple pinch-hit at-bats a week in the majors, if possible. The last man on Charlie Manuel‘s bench doesn’t get many at-bats (i.e. Michael Bourn, So Taguchi, Alex Gonzalez), and that could impede their progress. So I get the feeling the Phillies will have to decide if they want three lefthanders on their bench (Greg Dobbs, Geoff Jenkins and Matt Stairs) or go with one of the veteran righthanded bats they have in camp (Miguel Cairo, Marcus Giles and Pablo Ozuna).

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The Yahoo! Answer Man interviews Shane Victorino with special guest appearances from Marcus Giles and Jon Gosselin from Jon & Kate Plus Eight. … Phinally Philly takes a look at the Wall of Fame nominees. … The Fightins has the ad Pat Burrell placed in The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News today.

Howard Is A Dangerous Man

holeinwall.jpgAlways keep your eyes open at the ballpark.

Ryan Howard just ripped a foul ball into the Bright House Field press box. The ball cruised between Phillies baseball communications folks Greg Casterioto and Kevin Gregg. Howard hit the ball so ridiculously hard that it put a hole in the drywall in the back of the press box, a good 20 feet behind the open window it sailed through.

Not only did the ball dent the drywall, you can actually see the seams of the ball imprinted on the wall.

Howard looked up into the press box and couldn’t help but laugh when he realized he nearly maimed Gregg and Casterioto.

Howard walked and John Mayberry Jr. followed with a three-run home run, which landed onto the Tiki Pavilion roof to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead. Howard hit a three-run homer to left field in the fifth inning to give the Phillies an 8-1 lead.

“He’s got some sock,” Howard said of Mayberry. “When I heard it, I thought, ‘That’s loud.’ Second, I said, ‘That’s going to hit somebody’s car because it’s going over the tiki bar.’ He’s got good pop everywhere. All across the field. If he gets that shot to be able to put it all together, he’s going to be a force to reckon with. He’s got all the tools. He’s got everything there.”

The Race Is On

kylekendrick.jpgPhillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said today that the battle for the fifth spot in the rotation has started.

Beginning … now.

That seems to be good news for Kyle Kendrick, who is competing for that job. He allowed four runs in 2 2/3 innings today in a 9-5 loss to Team USA at Bright House Field. Kendrick had retired seven of the first eight batters he faced when he found trouble in the third.

Dubee wasn’t happy with the way he handled that trouble.

After Shane Victorino hit a chopper over Ryan Howard‘s head for a one-out single, Kendrick threw to first on a pickoff attempt. The throw was low, the ball got away from Howard and Victorino scampered to second. Kendrick threw up his arms for a split second. Jimmy Rollins then hit a ball through the hole between first and second to put runners at the corners. Dustin Pedroia followed suit, knocking the ball through the hole between first and second. Kendrick threw up his arms again, which irritated Dubee.

“That’s not acceptable behavior,” Dubee said.

“Poor,” said Dubee, asked to rate the progress Kendrick is making regarding controlling his emotions. “Poor today. He made a good pitch to Pedroia at the time, and he inside-outed a fastball and hit a little chopper between first and second and he threw his arms up like, ‘Poor me,’ or whatever. That doesn’t show control of your emotions.

“He threw the ball OK. Victorino hits a chopper. Jimmy hits a ball in the hole. Pedroia hits a ball in the hole. It’s going to happen to a sinker ball guy.”

Dubee said he considered Kendrick to be the favorite for the fifth starter’s job entering spring training. Is he still the favorite?

“I haven’t been evaluating yet, but the race is on now,” he said. “I would have liked to have seen a little more improvement, but again, it’s early. … He still needs better body language. He still needs a better presence, I’d say. It looked a little frail at times. Again, that chopped base hit, that’s life to a sinker ball guy and has to understand that. When you’re throwing your arms like, ‘Why me?’ or whatever he’s throwing them up for, that’s showing the other team there that you’re scuffling. And you don’t ever want to let your guard down. You don’t want to show how you might be feeling poorly or whatever.”

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Chad Durbin (right hamstring) threw a bullpen session today. It went well. Brad Lidge (forearm tightness) threw a live BP today. It also went well. Dubee said both could appear in Grapefruit League games next week. …  Chase Utley could get into a Grapefruit League game in the middle of the month. … Pedro Feliz took live BP. If he comes out of that OK, it will be a big step for him. … Jayson Werth will play in a “B” game against the Toronto Blue Jays at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Bright House Field. … John Mayberry Jr. is playing center field against the Blue Jays at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Dunedin Stadium. He has never played center field before, but he said he is looking forward to it. … The Phillies “traded” Joe Bisenius and Scott Nestor to Team USA early in the game because they need a couple extra arms. Bisenius allowed three hits and a run in one inning. “It was kind of weird facing Lou (Marson), guys I played with last year,” he said. “It was a good time. It was a cool experience.”

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