Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mayberry getting more time

John Mayberry Jr. is earning time in Charlie Manuel's lineup. He deserves it.

He's made some adjustments in his swing and approach, and the difference is palpable.

Mayberry's biggest area of improvement: consistency. Everyone has seen his potential and the power in his mighty bat. But since his recall, he's producing on a much more consistent basis.

He's batting .269 with 10 homers, 35 RBI, 13 doubles and six stolen bases in just 189 at bats. His .511 slugging percentage is third on the team behind Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino. Same with his .841 OPS.

Overall, Mayberry is hitting .273 against left-handed pitching with five home runs. Lately, Manuel has used him more against lefties and he's come through in a big way.

Todd Zolecki did a feature on Mayberry, that since he rejoined the team in July, the Phils have faced nine left-handed starters. Mayberry started eight of them, hitting .276 with two doubles, four homers, seven RBI and a .759 slugging percentage in those games. Raul Ibanez hit .172 with one double, one home run, seven RBI, a .172 on base percentage and a .310 slugging percentage in that same span.

Mayberry got the start against lefty John Lannan in last night's 5-0 victory, going 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. Roy Oswalt showed encouraging signs that he could be back to form, tossing eight shutout innings, striking out nine.

Mayberry is not quite in a platoon situation with Ibanez, but he's a big bat to be able to add against a tough lefty, or come off the bench late as he did in Colorado with a pinch-hit game tying home run. In the postseason, Mayberry could be an even more valuable tool for Manuel to pencil into the lineup against southpaws.

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