John Mayberry Jr. knew that the opportunity was there. After Jayson Werth departed town, there was an opening in right field.
Mayberry, 27, also realized that he’s not a young prospect anymore.
“It was time to make that move,” Mayberry said. “I needed to take advantage of the situation and make changes in my game.”
The lean, lanky son of former Royals slugger John Mayberry made some batting adjustments, courtesy of Charlie Manuel.
“Charlie knows hitting,” Mayberry said. “So I was more than happy to listen to what he had to say. I’ve been working to get in a better position to hit.”
Mayberry hit .294 with five home runs in spring training and earned a spot with the big club. He is hitting .295 with two homers and seven RBIs in part-time duty. Mayberry has also excelled as a pinch-hitter.
“It’s not an easy thing to do. I talked to GG [hitting coach Greg Gross, who led the Phillies with 117 career pinch-hits] about it,” Mayberry said. “I watched Greg Dobbs do it last year and Ross Gload. I try to follow their approach.”
Mayberry has come through with some key pinch-hits this season, but he may be starting more games due to the play of corner outfielders Raul Ibanez and Ben Francisco. The former suffered through an 0-for-35 slump and the latter is going through a 3-for-32 schneid.
“I can handle anything in the outfield,” said Mayberry. “I’ve played more right field than anything, but I’m good anywhere out there. I just want to do well and see where it leads to.”