Monday, March 9, 2009

Philadelphia Phillies Spring Training Update

By Christian Karcole

An 0-3 start to the Spring for the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies certainly was not catastrophic, yet a 4-2 record since then certainly helps. Especially with the young-guns looking to make the Opening Day roster.

In the first three games of the Spring, the Phils ran across two runs twice, and three runs the other game. John Mayberry Jr., a young outfielder looking to make the big leagues when the season starts, was the only player player contending for a roster spot to hit a run in during those three games.

Yet, as the Phillies started to win some games, the play of the guys who really count this Spring stepped up.

Mayberry hit two more runs in against the Rays in a 12-5 win, and Miguel Cairo hit in a run of his own. Brian Giles helped the Phils with two hits and two stolen bases against the Braves.

Jeremy Slayden was among more players who stepped up in the four-game win streak the Phillies put together when he homered against the Blue Jays in a 12-7 win, then homered again against Team Canada. John Mayberry Jr. also homered while going two for three in the game against the folks up north.

Highly touted Jason Donald homered in a loss to the U.S., and Pablo Ozuna had two hits against the Blue Jays on Friday night.

Besides the players competing for spots, Raul Ibanez, Greg Dobbs, Eric Bruntlett, and Jimmy Rollins have performed well during the Spring.

Pablo Ozuna leads the Phillies with a .583 average (7 hits in 12 at-bats), with Jeremy Slayden right behind him with a .500 average (five hits in 10 at-bats).

But the real show thus far has been John Mayberry Jr.

Mayberry has hit for a .286 average with six hits in 21 at-bats. The twenty-five year old outfielder has also hit for one home-run, five RBI's, eleven total bases, one stolen base, two doubles, four runs, a .375 OBP, and a .524 SLG.

Mayberry was traded to the Phillies on the 20th of November in 2008. The Texas Rangers traded him to the Phils for the Phillies' 2004 first-round pick, Greg Golson. Mayberry was also a first-round pick of the Rangers in 2005 (also a first-round pick in 2002, before he decided to go to college at Stanford).

He certainly is making a strong impression on the Phillies, yet the depth in the outfield may hamper his big-league chances. The three starters, Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez, and Jayson Werth, are locked in their positions in the outfield. Then back-ups Matt Stairs and Geoff Genkins are almost shoe-ins to make the squad. Eric Bruntlett can play a little outfield as well.

Six or seven outfielders on one team is not probable, nor is it logical. Mayberry likely will not make the Phillies this year, but after the departure of Jenkins and Stairs, Mayberry could be the first one called up.

Related Posts by Categories

Buy MLB Merchandise at our online MLB Shop