Tag: John Mayberry

Just what the doctor ordered

Their season is only eight games old, but twice already the Phillies have needed a big start from Cliff Lee and twice he has delivered. Last night he gave the overworked middle relievers a break as he went 8 2/3 innings in an 8-3 win over the Mets.

After two starts, Lee is 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA and an 0.60 ratio. He has thrown 16 2/3 innings, striking out 14 and walking none. Righties are hitting .133 against him.

The offense delivered seven early runs, scoring four in the second before Howard, Young and Mayberry all hit solo home runs in the third. Mayberry started in right against a right-handed pitcher and had a big day, going 2-for-4 with three RBI. He’s 4-for-12 with three doubles, a home run and three walks against righties in the early going (333/467/833). Young tripled and homered, going 3-for-4 in the game and driving in a pair of runs.

The Phillies are 3-5 on the year after beating the New York Mets 8-3 last night. The teams have split the first two games of the three-game series.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went 8 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits. Only two of the runs were earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, a triple and a home run. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.

Daniel Murphy and John Buck both singled in the top of the first, but Lee got Marlon Byrd on a fly ball to center to leave two men stranded.

Lucas Duda singled to start the second, but Lee got Justin Turner to ground into a double-play behind him. Ruben Tejada flew to right for the third out.

Lee started the third up 4-0 and set the Mets down in order.

It was 7-0 when he started the fourth. David Wright led off and reached on a throwing error by Rollins, putting a man on for Buck. Buck hit the first pitch he saw from Lee out to right, cutting the lead to 7-2. Lee got the next three.

Second home run the opposite way for Buck in two games in the set. The error by Rollins ahead of the home run costs the Phils a run.

It was 8-2 when Jordany Valdespin tripled to center with one out in the fifth. Valdespin scored on a passed ball (8-3) before Lee struck out Collin Cowgill for the second out. Murphy doubled to right, but was left at second when Wright grounded to short.

Second miscue by the Phils on the passed ball by Kratz, although Valdespin would have scored from third on Murphy’s double anyway.

Lee set the Mets down in order in the sixth. Lefty Mike Baxter hit for the pitcher and struck out looking for the third out.

Lee needed seven pitches to set New York down in order in the seventh.

He struck out Murphy in a 1-2-3 eighth.

Byrd singled to right with one out in the ninth. Righty Anthony Recker hit for the pitcher Brandon Lyon and Lee struck him out looking for the second out. Turner was next and moved Byrd up to second with a single. Lee had thrown 106 pitches in the game and Manuel called on Adams to pitch to the righty Ruben Tejada. Tejada struck out looking 0-2 to end the game.

I thought it was a very good decision by Manuel to pull Lee when he did. The middle of the pen has been overused, but the guys at the back, Adams, Papelbon, Aumont and Bastardo, haven’t had a ton to do.

It was the third appearance of the year for Adams. He has struck out four in 2 1/3 scoreless innings while allowing one hit.

The Phillie lineup against righty Dillon Gee went (1) Revere (2) Rollins (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Young (6) Brown (7) Mayberry (8) Kratz. Kratz behind the plate after Quintero caught Halladay in game one of the set. Revere continues to lead off despite his slow start in combination with Rollins hitting well. Mayberry starts in right against the righty with Nix on the bench.

The Phillies went in order in the bottom of the first.

Young and Brown singled back-to-back with one out in the second. Brown’s ball was hit softly to left. The throw went to third and hit Young, allowing Brown to move up to second. Mayberry cleared the bases with a double down the third base line. 2-0. Kratz grounded to third for the second out before Lee singled into center, scoring Mayberry to put the Phils up 3-0. Revere moved Lee up to second with a single before Rollins doubled into the right field corner. Lee scored (4-0) and Revere moved up to third. Utley flew to left to leave the runners at second and third.

Very nice hustle on the bases by both Young and Brown on Brown’s single. Young took third on the single and Brown ran hard to take the extra-base when Duda’s throw hit Young.

Revere doesn’t score from first on the two-out double by Rollins.

Howard led off the third and hit a 1-1 pitch out to left-center. 5-0. Young was next and hit the first pitch he saw out the opposite way. 6-0. Brown flew to left for the first out before Mayberry lined a 1-0 pitch out to left. 7-0. Kratz singled, but Lee and Revere went down to leave him stranded.

Quite an inning as Howard, Young and Mayberry all put home run number one for the season on the board. All three go after Gee early in the count. Howard and Young hit the ball out the opposite way and Mayberry pulls his down the line.

Righty Glen Burke was on the mound for the Mets when the Phils hit in the fourth with their lead cut to 7-1. Utley walked with one out. Howard lined to Tejada for the second out before Utley stole second. It brought Young to the plate and he tripled to center, scoring Utley to make it 8-1. Brown grounded to short for the third out.

Young was again aggressive on the bases as he went for three. The Mets probably would have had him with a good relay to third. They didn’t get one.

It was 8-3 when Burke set the Phillies down in order in the fifth.

Utley walked off of lefty Scott Rice with two outs in the sixth, stole second and took third on a throwing error. Howard struck out swinging to leave him at third.

Righty Latroy Hawkins set Young, Brown and Mayberry down in order in the seventh.

Brown is 5-for-25 against righties on the season.

Righty Brandon Lyon set Kratz, Lee and Revere down in order in the eighth. Lee hit for himself having thrown 96 pitches in the game.

Revere was 1-for-5 in the game. He’s hitting .229 without an extra-base hit.

Rollins 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He made a throwing error in front of the Buck home run that cost the Phils a run. 8-for-25 with two walks and four extra-base hits against righties (320/370/560).

Utley 0-for-2 with two walks and two stolen bases.

Howard 1-for-4 with a strikeout and his first home run. 161/206/258 on the year in 34 plate appearances.

Young 3-for-4 with a triple and a home run. 7-for-his-last-13 with three extra-base hits.

Brown 1-for-4 with a bloop single and a strikeout. 2-for-his-last-15 with two singles and no walks.

Mayberry gets the start against the righty Gee and delivers two extra-base hits off of him, going 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI in the game.

Kratz 1-for-4 with a strikeout and a passed ball. He’s on-basing .192 with eight strikeouts in 26 plate appearances.

Kendrick (0-1, 7.94) faces righty Jeremy Hefner (0-1, 1.50) tonight. Kendrick pitched better than his line against the Royals in his first start, throwing four scoreless innings to start the game before allowing a two-run single in the fifth. With two outs in the fifth and two men on he was asked to walk Billy Butler intentionally and was then pulled from the game. Horst took over and allowed a three-run triple to Alex Gordon with all three runs charged to Kendrick. Hefner allowed a run to the Marlins over six innings in his first outing of the year.


Ain’t that a Shane

Former Phil Shane Victorino delivered the big blow last night, a three-run triple off of Michael Stutes in the bottom of the seventh, as Boston topped the Phils 6-1.

Stutes was charged with five runs in 2/3 of an inning in the game, upping his spring ERA to 9.35. He has allowed seven walks in 8 2/3 innings. It all makes it pretty tough for me to see the Phils giving him a spot in the pen to start the year, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

With Revere and Rollins both in the starting lineup for the Phils, Revere led off with Rollins hitting third. The one run the Phillies scored in the game came in the top of the first. Pete Orr singled with one out, stole second, moved to third on popup that went for an unfielded double by Rollins and scored on a Michale Young ground out.

Rollins was 1-for-3 with an unlikely double. He’s 4-for-15 (.267) with two doubles.

Revere 0-for-3 to drop his line to 313/343/391.

Ruf 1-for-2 with a double in what I assume is a too-little-too-late effort. 226/305/396 with hide-your-eyes ugly defense in left. Ruf and Mayberry have both been terrible this spring.

Mayberry started at first and went 0-for-4 to drop his line to 218/283/309. If Mayberry could have played himself out of his roster spot this spring I think he did. I don’t think it’s likely he could have, though, given the combination of how thin the Phillies are in the outfield and the degree to which Ruf has looked unusable out there.

Galvis started at second and went 2-for-3 with a triple. 288/311/559. He has a team-high ten extra-base hits — six doubles, two triples and two home runs, in 62 official plate appearances. Not quite as much power as Brown and Howard have shown this spring, but a whole lot closer than most would have guessed. Brown’s isolated power this spring is .317, Howard’s .316 and Galvis’s .271. Galvis’s isolated power in 2,179 plate appearances in the minor leagues is .075.

Nix 1-for-2 with a double to up his line to 250/283/364. He’s had a better spring than that, but some of his success has come in games that don’t count as official spring action.

Young 0-for-3 with an RBI to drop his line to 262/292/361. He started real slow, got real hot and now has cooled again.

Mitchell and Iciarte both went 0-for-1 in the game. Incirate’s line is at 238/360/286 in 21 at-bats. Mitchell is hitting 318/375/682 in 22 at-bats.

Carlos Ruiz left the game in the ninth inning with a bruised hand after being hit by a pitch.

Hamels started the game for the Phillies and allowed a run on four hits and two walks over six innings. The run came in the bottom of the second when a leadoff double by Will Middlebrooks was followed by a single that moved Middlebrooks up to third. He scored on a sac fly.

In the sixth inning, Hamels struck Victorino out looking at a beautiful 0-2 curve ball. Still think Victorino takes the day overall, though, what with winning the game for the Red Sox and whatnot.

Hamels has a 1.13 ERA and an 0.81 ratio in official spring action. Opponents are hitting .182 against him and he hasn’t allowed a home run in 16 innings. He got hammered in a start against the Dominican Republic WBC team in an unofficial game.

Stutes started the seventh, got hit real hard, and didn’t finish the frame. He was charged with five runs over 2/3 of an inning on one hit and three walks. He got the first two batters he faced in the inning, then walked three of the next four before Victorino hit a three-run triple. Stutes was replaced by righty Mike Nesseth, who threw to a 2.95 ERA in 76 1/3 innings between Lakewood and Clearwater last year, with two outs and a man on third. Nesseth allowed a double to Dustin Pedroia, scoring Victorino with the run charged to Stutes.

Stutes’s ERA is up to 9.35 after being charged with five runs in 2/3 of an inning.

Horst pitched the eighth. He allowed a one-out single, which was followed by an inning-ending double-play.

Horst drops his ERA to 6.35 and his ratio to 1.32. He’s pitched well after a very ugly start and seems to me to be a lock for the pen.

Adam Morgan is expected to pitch this afternoon when the Phils face the Braves.

Halladay will start in a minor league game tomorrow. The linked article also says that Delmon Young worked out in the outfield and is still likely to miss at least the first month of the season.


Not for Nuding the Phils would still be sadly winless

The Phillies won their first spring training game in four tries yesterday, topping the Yankees 4-3.

No Phillie had more than one hit in the game. Down 1-0 in the sixth, Rollins walked with one out and scored on a double by Frandsen to tie the game at 1-1. The Phils trailed 3-1 when they hit in the seventh. Brown hit a solo homer to cut the lead to 3-2. Cody Asche doubled with two outs and Tommy Joseph followed that with a two-run homer to left that put the Phils up to stay.

Brown’s homer was pretty and went real far. Look. Now if we can just get Zach Nuding to start 35 games or so for the Nats or Braves we should be all set.

Howard was 1-for-2 with a walk. Michael Young remains hitless after an 0-for-3, he’s 0-for-8 so far. Revere is 1-for-6 with an error on the spring after an 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Mayberry 0-for-7 with three strikeouts in the early going after going 0-for-1 with a strikeout yesterday.

Kendrick started the game for the Phils allowed a first-inning run on a double and a single. He threw a scoreless second and was followed by Aaron Cook, who tossed two scoreless frames.

Durbin, Cesar Jimenez and Horst all threw a scoreless inning. Horst started the ninth with a one-run lead and got the save. He gave up back-to-back hits with two outs and nobody on, putting runners on first and third, but got someone named Cito Culver, who is 20-years-old and slugged .283 at Single-A in 2012, on a fly ball to right to end the game. Culver was a first-round pick in 2010 draft, taken by the Yankees in that round ahead of some people you may have heard more about, like Taijuan Walker, Nick Castellanos, Chance Ruffin and Mike Olt.

Look for the Phillies to take Culver in the 2019 Rule V draft and give him 587 plate appearances as their starting shortstop. You heard it here first.

After Kendrick’s run in the first inning, the only other Phillie pitcher who was scored on in the game was Zach Miner. Miner threw a scoreless sixth. He returned for the seventh with the game tied at 1-1 and yielded a pair of runs on a one-out single that was followed by a home run.

Not a great day for Zachs. Miner and Nuding combined to go three innings in the game, allowing five earned runs on six hits, three of which were home runs.

Second official appearance for Miner. He’s allowed four runs, three of which are earned, on six hits over three innings.

Chase Utley was scratched from yesterday’s lineup due to wet weather conditions.

Delmon Young suggests that his ankle problems significantly impacted his performance during the last two season. That’s discussed in this blog post.

This suggests that Mike Adams could pitch tomorrow, which would be earlier than expected.

Lannan is expected to pitch this afternoon as the Phils face the Twins.


Minor details

Even with Delmon Young likely to start the year on the DL, I’m still not sure we’re going to see Darin Ruf playing a whole lot of left field in 2013, unless he demonstrates real soon he can handle the position defensively. Given that Ryan Howard plays first and will for a while, I’m not sure there’s anywhere else for him to play.

Either way, Ruf got 37 plate appearances with the Phils in 2012 and walked in just two of them, a walk rate of 5.4%. So should we be worried that he’s going to continue to drag down the Phillie walk rate in left field in 2013?

I don’t think so. First, cause I’m still not sure how much we’re going to see Ruf in left field in 2013 and second because he’s likely to walk a lot more than 5.4% if he’s given enough chances to hit.

Here’s how Ruf’s walk rates at various levels compare to fellow corner outfield candidates Domonic Brown and John Mayberry:

Darin Ruf
Year & Age Level PA BB%
2009 (22) Rk/A- 201 8.5
2010 (23) A/A+ 547 8.6
2011 (24) A+ 554 10.1
2012 (25) AA 583 11.1
All minors - 1,885 9.8
@ AAA - 0 -
Majors MAJ 37 5.4
Domonic Brown
Year & Age Level PA BB%
2006 (18) Rk 131 9.2
2007 (19) A-/A+ 328 8.8
2008 (20) A 516 12.4
2009 (21) Rk/A+/AA 454 10.8
2010 (22) AA/AAA 389 9.5
2011 (23) A+/AAA 195 15.4
2012 (24) Rk/AAA 261 7.7
All minors - 2,274 10.6
@ AAA - 531 10.0
Majors MAJ 492 10.4
John Mayberry
2005 (21) A- 302 8.6
2006 (22) A 533 11.1
2007 (23) A+/AA 548 8.8
2008 (24) AA/AAA 565 6.0
2009 (25) AAA 358 9.5
2010 (26) AAA 547 7.1
2011 (27) AAA 122 4.1
All minors - 2,975 8.2
@ AAA - 1,502 7.2
Majors MAJ 848 7.4

Couple of things. First, Darin Ruf is old. He turned 26 in July. Mayberry is really old, but we’ve had time to get used to that. The Phils took Ruf out of Creighton University and he didn’t get his first minor league plate appearance until his age 22 season. In 2011, he had a very nice year at Clearwater, hitting 308/388/506, but did it during his age 24 season. Domonic Brown, on the other hand, was taken out of high school and had already been to Double-A (for 162 plate appearances) by the end of his age 21 season. Brown reached Triple-A during his age 22 season while Mayberry and Ruf were both in A-ball or lower during their age 22 year.

Mayberry played three years at Stanford before debuting in the Northwest league in his age 21 season.

Bottom line for me when you look at the walk rates for those three guys across all levels, Brown is going to walk the most of the three. I’d guess it will be close between Ruf and Mayberry, but I’d bet that when their careers are over, Ruf will have walked in a higher percentage of his plate appearances than Mayberry. Especially in the unlikely event that he keeps hitting 50 or so home runs a year.

Mike Schmidt seems more optimistic about Michael Young’s chances of being a first ballot Hall of Famer than I am.

Laynce Nix has a bone spur in his right foot. The linked article suggests he’s not expected to miss time as a result of the bone spur.

The Phillies play an intrasquad game today. They play the Astros on Saturday and the Tigers on Sunday.


Juan of the problems

In 2012, Phillie left fielders walked in about 6.3% of their plate appearances, which was the 15th-best walk rate in the 16 team NL. So what went wrong? Well, the Phillies gave about 80% of their plate appearances at the position to Juan Pierre and John Mayberry and those guys didn’t walk.

Here’s how the percentages of plate appearances and walks for the Phillie left fielders break down for 2012:

Player % of PA BB% as LF
Pierre 60.2 5.0
Mayberry 19.8 5.8
Brown 8.3 6.9
Nix 3.7 15.4
Wigginton 3.6 24.0
Ruf 3.0 4.8
Others (2) 1.3 0.0
All PHI LF 100 6.3
NL avg LF - 8.0

Juan Pierre just doesn’t walk and you shouldn’t expect him to. His career walk rate is 5.7% and he was around that mark while playing left field at the position last year.

Mayberry has been better at drawing walks than Pierre for his career, walking in about 7.4% of his chances, but walked in just 5.8% of his plate appearances while playing left field for the Phils in 2012.

Below them there’s some weird stuff with the guys who got a smaller number of plate appearances. The walk rate for the team would have been even worse had Wigginton and Nix not combined to bizarrely walk 10 times in their 51 plate appearances (about 19.6%). The left fielders other than Wigginton and Nix combined to walk in about 5.3% of their plate appearances for the Phils.

To the degree there’s good news on this front, it’s that Brown, and hopefully Ruf, are both likely to walk at much higher rates going forward than they did in their time playing left field for the Phillies in 2012.


Maybe we should try asking him to play both corner outfield positions

The most recent post suggested that there are two positions where the total number of walks the Phillies drew in 2012, when they were terrible at drawing walks overall, was better than it was in 2007, when the Phillies were very good at drawing walks. One was center field and the other was shortstop.

Shortstop for the Phils is all about Jimmy Rollins and has been for years. He got about 95% of the team’s plate appearances as a shortstop in 2012 and just over 99% in 2007. For years we had been pleading with Jimmy Rollins to improve his walk rate. Not sure everybody noticed, but he did.

Through the end of the 2009 season, J-Roll had one year in his career in which he walked in 8% or more of his plate appearances (9.3% in 2008). Over the last three years his lowest walk rate is 8.9%. Here are his career numbers through 2009 and for 2010-2012:

PA BB%
2000-2009 6512 7.2
2010-2012 1724 9.3

From 2003 to 2007, the Phillies were either first or second in the NL in walk rate in every season. Rollins was the everyday guy at shortstop, walking in the same 7.2% of his plate appearances as his career mark for walk rate going into 2010.

So even when the Phillies were an elite walking team, they didn’t draw a ton of walks at the position. They’re no longer an elite group of walkers, but they are getting more walks from short because Rollins has improved his rate.

Center field is the other position where the Phils drew more walks in 2012 than they did in 2007. Again, the issue there is that their walk rate in center was pretty low in 2007. Rowand was miserable at drawing walks in 2006, walking in just about 4.1% of his plate appearances in center. He got better in ’07, getting the vast majority of the PA at the position and walking in about 6.9% of his chances to help get the team’s rate up to 7.0%. Led by Victorino, the team has been in the 8% range over the past four years and were at 8.5% in 2012. Victorino walked in just 8.1% of his PA with the Phils in ’12, his worst mark since 2008, but the Phils got up to 8.5% at the position with some unexpected help from Mayberry. You probably don’t think of Mayberry as a walk machine, but he walked in about 9.7% of his 227 plate appearances as a center fielder in 2012.

Delmon Young is coming off of surgery on his right ankle. Amaro suggests that he might not be able to play in games competitively until the middle of March in this article. The same article suggests that Valdes and Stutes could both be near 100%.


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