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Mayberry OK with being sole center fielder

Mayberry OK with being sole center fielder

Mayberry OK with being sole center fielder

NEW YORK -- John Mayberry Jr. is out there on an island. Ever since Ben Revere went down with a broken right foot, Mayberry has been thrust into the role as the Phillies' everyday center fielder.

Only one of Philadelphia's reserves -- the veteran Laynce Nix -- has extensive experience playing in center field. That means that Mayberry, at 29 years old, has to be ready every day to patrol those wide expanses, and he said on Sunday that it's a challenge he's willing to face.

"I take it in stride," Mayberry said. "I take the same kind of approach I've had every other day of the season. I just come to the park ready to play, have fun and try to help us win."

Mayberry, the son of former big leaguer John Mayberry, has primarily played the corner outfield slots in the Majors. He went into this season with just 78 career starts in center field, but he's taken to the position with aplomb, playing between corner men Domonic Brown and Delmon Young.

The Phillies may make a roster move at some point to get a more dedicated reserve for center field, but for now it's an interesting bench. Philadelphia has two backup catchers (Erik Kratz and Humberto Quintero), a backup outfielder (Nix) and two veteran utility men (Kevin Frandsen and John McDonald).

Mayberry, a former first-round draftee, played his first full season in the big leagues last year, and he's improved on his numbers in regard to batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Now he's hoping to finish strong and establish himself as an everyday player -- in center field or elsewhere.

"With each passing day, you definitely gain more experience and confidence," he said. "You just try to apply the things you've learned in the past and try to make them as beneficial as you can."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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