Free Mayberry: Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel Should Just Let John Mayberry Play


Opening Day hero two years in a row?  John Mayberry Jr.   Current scapegoat for the team's struggles?  John Mayberry Jr.

I have two strong feelings on the matter:

    1) It's early
    2) Let him play.

The latter is my bigger beef.   We all know that the world is ending because both Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are injured.    But the Phillies' approach to the two of them has been very different.

In Chase Utley's absence, the Phillies decided to make Freddy Galvis the second baseman and number eight hitter in the lineup.

That says it all.

In Ryan Howard's absence, the Phillies have responded by introducing lineups that include Juan Pierre in left field, Ty Wigginton at first base.  Or maybe Laynce Nix at first base and Juan Pierre in left.  Or, how about John Mayberry in left field and Ty Wigginton at first base.   Or, John Mayberry in left field and Jim Thome at first base.  Or, Juan Pierre in left field and John Mayberry at first base.  Or, John Mayberry at first base and Laynce Nix in left field.  In the On Deck Series, Mayberry played left and Nix first base.

My thought is that with lineups all over the place, Mayberry does not know where he will play from day to day and has not had the opportunity to find his rhythm.  Can anyone explain one lineups with Nix at first and Mayberry in left, only to have the two of them playing opposite positions four days later?

If you remember last season, Mayberry got off to a slow start as a fill-in player.  The more and more he played, he established himself as a solid defender and hitter with some pop.

I believe Charlie Manuel should just make the decision:  John Mayberry Jr. is the Phillies first baseman.  Throw him out there every day, and see how he does once he hits a groove.   This way, Nix and Pierre could play some left field.  If the Phillies really need to have a right-handed hitter in left field, Ty Wigginton has 60 career games in left field and has made his career moving around the diamond and playing different positions.  He is better equipped to handle it.

At second base, Galvis has had every opportunity to find his stride.  Though he is only hitting .237, that includes his 0 for 12 start.   Galvis has hits in each of his last eight starts, for a .375 batting average since those first 12 at bats.

Free Mayberry: give him his chance to find success.