John Mayberry Jr. up to challenge

With Ryan Howard and Chase Utley out indefinitely, the Phillies are hoping for another power source.

John Mayberry Jr.

Mayberry will have a chance to prove that the 12 homers he hit in just 163 at-bats in 2011 wasn’t a fluke, but the beginning of something special.

The left-field job is Mayberry’s to lose, according to Phils skipper Charlie Manuel. The only reason Mayberry may not be in left is to man first base. Ben Francisco earned the right-field job last season after a terrific spring. However, Francisco failed miserably when the 2011 campaign commenced.

“I’m just trying to go in and play my game and do the best I can,” Mayberry said. “I want to help the team as much as possible.”

Mayberry has had a difficult spring. He has failed to hit his weight and has struggled against left-handed pitching. If it’s any solace, spring training success means nothing unless you’re fighting for a job, which isn’t the case for Mayberry. He is versatile, powerful and earned the chance to start based on last season’s success.

“He [Mayberry] showed us a lot last season,” Manuel said.

“I’m ready for it,” Mayberry said. “I’ve been playing for a long time and I want to make the most of my chance.”

More from our Sister Sites