NEW YORK -- So who is the real John Mayberry Jr.?
It is the guy who hit .230 (55-for-239) with 13 doubles, eight home runs, 25 RBIs and a .654 on-base-plus-slugging percentage through July 29, or is it the guy who has hit .299 (47-for-157) with 10 doubles, six home runs, 21 RBIs and an .854 OPS since?
The Phillies would love to know before they head to Spring Training in February.
"John can be a valuable guy on our club," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Wednesday at Citi Field. "Whether he's an everyday player for us next year remains to be seen, but he's certainly put himself in a good position to at least be a part of our club. He's got a lot of value because he's versatile, he's got power, he's got some speed, he can play all three outfield positions and first base. So anytime you have a commodity like that, it's a plus."
The Phils had high expectations for Mayberry this season based on a strong second half in 2011, when he hit .309 (46-for-149) with 11 homers, one triple, 10 homers, 34 RBIs and a .959 OPS from July 10 through the end of the year. But Mayberry didn't deliver early, when they really could have used him without Ryan Howard and Chase Utley in the lineup.
For that reason it seems the best Mayberry can hope for is opening 2013 in a platoon situation in the outfield.
One theory on Mayberry: maybe the pressure of producing early this season affected him negatively.
"It's possible, but he had a slow start last year, too," Amaro said. "Maybe he's just a slow starter."