Could Mayberry’s Days as a Phillie Be Numbered?

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, February 18, 2014 09:02 PM | Comments: 13
News, Offseason

The big news from Spring Training today came from comments made by manager Ryne Sandberg. Sandberg’s comments were in reference to where he sees a number of players on the 2014 roster. There were some surprises, Darin Ruf will see equal time at first base and left field, some news was not as surprising, Jesse Biddle will likely start the year in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and then there was Sandberg’s comments that Marlon Byrd, Domonic Brown, and Cesar Hernandez would be options to back up Ben Revere in center fielder. Conspicuous by his absence in these discussions? John Mayberry Jr.

Mayberry, 30, hit a career-worst .227/.286/.391 with 11 HR in 384 PA and saw his generally previously-positive platoon splits (.306/.358/.595 in 120 PA in 2011 against lefties) drop precipitously (.240/.296/.460 in 108 PA in 2013 against lefties). With Sandberg mentioning seemingly everyone but Mayberry, was this just an accidental omission or could Mayberry’s days as a Phillie be numbered?

There is one particular factor working against this theory: Mayberry signed a guaranteed contract, which is somewhat odd for an arbitration-eligible player. Out of options, Matt Gelb speculates that the guarantee could have helped keep Mayberry’s arbitration number down. If Mayberry, like countless other arbitration-eligible players, had a non-guaranteed deal, he could have been released during Spring Training for somewhere between 1/6 and 1/4 the value of his contract. The Phillies would now be on the hook for his entire contract should they waive him during Spring Training.

Other notes from today:

- RHP Mike Adams plans to be back in early-to-mid April but not in time for Opening Day. LHP Cole Hamels plans to be back in mid-April. Both will throw bullpen sessions next week, Adams on February 27, Hamels on February 25.

- RHP Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez showed “rust” according to Phillies pitching coach Bob McClure but also reported that Gonzalez was able to keep the ball down in the zone and use his change-up effectively

- Gonzalez and Biddle threw to live hitters today

(Sources: Chris Branch, News JournalTodd Zolecki, MLB.com)

Avatar of Ian Riccaboni

About Ian Riccaboni

Ian Riccaboni has written 835 articles on Phillies Nation.

Ian's athletic achievements include getting stuffed by NBA center Aaron Gray in high school and hitting .179 over four years for NYU against D-III, NAIA, JuCo, and NCBA schools. Ian hopes his athletic successes will help him achieve his dream of becoming the underground Bob Uecker.

  • Posts: 558 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    Mayberry is the experienced veteran with a guaranteed contract and can play several positions and quite adequately ( I count four: 3 OFs and 1B). It would certainly be a challenge for any other utility player to take his place on the roster unless the challenger has a hot hand in spring training and force the issue..

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    There was no need to bring Mayberry. Keep Ruf, Hernandez, Galvis and one other backup OF which they decided was Abreau.

  • Posts: 0 CS

    It would be a wise use of spring training to see if Brown, Byrd or Cesar can function as a CF. The second teir of Gwynn JR, JMJ, etc cole after the first group doesn’t cut it.

  • Posts: 558 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    I forgot about Abreu and Galvis (oh no!). This is what Spring training games are for (besides physical conditioning). Sandberg will be performing his juggling act with the line-up to allow all those outfielders (I now count EIGHT..smile) playing time in exhibition games.

    I take Sandberg’s reported quotes (such as Ruf getting “equal time at first base and left field”) with a grain of salt. I don’t take it seriously especially BEFORE exhibition games begin. Those quotes (if accurate) are for public consumption.

  • Posts: 0 wbramh

    “RHP Mike Adams plans to be back in early-to-mid April but not in time for Opening Day.”

    A blind heart transplant patient could make it back to mound faster than Adams.
    I suspect this is not going to end well… again.

    For sake of argument only, let’s say Hamels and Pettibone don’t make it back by May 1, but rather, go under the knife on opening day. Oh, I know – they’re both just fine but remember, this is only crazy make believe.
    And let’s say Gonzalez keeping it “down in the zone” means he can only reach the plate on one bounce and he’s sent to Williamsport for a smaller infield until the rust comes off.
    And let’s say Fausto changes his name again, this time to Alice, moves to Bakersfield and opens up a pancakes restaurant.
    And let’s say Jesse Biddle gets invited to spring training, for no good reason since his fate has been predetermined, but strikes out every batter he faces before being back to Siberia, er, Lehigh Valley for another year of “seasoning.”

    The starting rotation becomes Lee, Burnett, Kendrick and…?
    Wait, don’t tell me… Jim Konstanty?

    • Posts: 188 photoFred

      Avatar of photoFred

      I’m laughing. I’m crying too, but I’m laughing. ;-)

  • Posts: 0 Keith

    Mayberry being left out is probably for the best. He never has been able to shorten the swing, and he’s actually become worse at reading the ball off the bat in the of. Ruf is by no means a step up in the defensive department, but he is a lot better option with the bat. Enough speculation….bring on the games!

  • Posts: 0 Keith L

    If this isn’t the end of Mayberry, I would start wondering what he has on Amaro.

  • Posts: 0 Dave

    Any team that keeps Mayberry and options Ruf doesn’t deserve to win.

  • Posts: 0 Vinnie

    It’s time to give Mayberry a change of scenery. It would both him and the phillies some good.

  • Posts: 3059 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    And of course Ruben just HAD to give him a guaranteed deal. Jesus!

  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    Minor news… Chooch was granted an exception to use adderal in 2014.

    Chooch on Speedballs > Chooch not on Speedballs

    • Posts: 5321 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      I think that’s major news, thanks OCP.

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