Mayberry Has Opportunity With Phillies
PHILADELPHIA — John Mayberry Jr. is in his third big league camp with the Phillies. His chance to crack the 25-man roster has never been better.
A Rangers first-round pick in 2005, Mayberry is in the mix of players who will get a look to be Jayson Werth's replacement in right field. Veteran Ben Francisco and rookie Domonic Brown are the leading candidates, but there still could be room for Mayberry as an extra outfielder. His righthanded bat and ability to play center field are particularly appealing to club officials.
"I think this is the window in John's career," manager Charlie Manuel said. "It's time to take a good look at where he's at. I think there could be a place on our team for him but he's got to earn it."
Mayberry, 27, was in camp a week early.
"I always like to come in early, but this year it could be more advantageous," he said. "To break with this team would be amazing. I might have a better shot than in the past. But it's all about producing. I'm optimistic. This opportunity is definitely exciting."
Mayberry, the son of a big leaguer of the same name, came to the Phils before the 2009 season, in a trade for Greg Golson, another first-rounder. He has had brief stints in the majors the last two seasons, hitting .232/.274/.536 in 50 games. At 6-foot-6, 235 pounds, Mayberry has a power hitter's body, but he's more of a line-drive, gap hitter. He hit .267/.328/.412 in 128 games at Triple-A last season, and batted .350 against lefthanders, a mark that has caught the eyes of team officials looking for some righthanded balance in a lineup heavy with lefthanded bats.
During stints in the majors the last two seasons, Mayberry has tried to watch pinch-hitters and "see how they prepare to have a successful at-bat late in the game." In an effort to increase his versatility, Mayberry has also picked up a first baseman's mitt again. He was a first baseman at Stanford, but has been primarily an outfielder in the pro game.
• The Phils signed veteran outfielder Cory Sullivan. He will attend minor league camp.
• The Phillies claimed righthander Brian Schlitter off waivers from the Yankees and designated righthander Andrew Carptenter to make room for him on the 40-man roster.