Mayberry helping fill void left by departed All-Stars

Mayberry helping fill void left by departed All-Stars

CINCINNATI -- When the Phillies traded away their two All-Star outfielders at the Trade Deadline, questions arose regarding who could fill in full time in the outfield.

John Mayberry Jr. is slowly beginning to prove he could be the answer.

Mayberry struggled early on in the season, enduring a 28-game stretch in which he recorded just 10 hits and two RBIs for a .182 average.

Over his first 55 games through the July 31 Trade Deadline, Mayberry held a .230 average with 55 hits, 13 doubles, eight homers, 25 RBIs and a .259 on-base percentage.

However, in 29 games since the Phillies dealt Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence, Mayberry has hit .301 with 34 hits, six doubles, six homers, 15 RBIs and a .360 on-base percentage.

"He's getting a chance to play and he's been hitting some homers, and also, things are falling his way. He's been playing pretty stable," said manager Charlie Manuel. "There's a lot of guys that run hot and cold. If they start the season cold, then their batting average is going to be down low."

Mayberry had upped his season average to .253 entering Wednesday's game, but despite his recent successes, Manuel says Mayberry still faces one more hurdle before consistently cracking the starting lineup -- hitting against righties.

On the season, Mayberry is batting .297 with eight homers and 19 RBIs against left-handed pitchers. He's had 76 more at-bats against righties but is batting just .224 with six homers and 21 RBIs.

Manuel said once Mayberry finds consistency, especially against right-handers, he could hold a daily spot in the outfield.

"I've always told him, 'You've got to hit right-handed pitchers better,'" Manuel said. "He's starting to get some hits off them. That's how Jayson Werth won a job. That's how he got $127 million. Two different players, but at the same time, when John shows he can consistently hit right-handed pitching and hold his own, that's what's going to make him a regular player. Right now, he's doing real good, but that's how you win a job."