Well yesterday sucked. The Phillies defense and Cole Hamels slept walked through the game and they got blown out by the Mets. It wasn’t fun to watch, listen to, or attend. (Sorry Mike O) So instead of talking about today’s disaster, I’m going to talk about John Mayberry. Why should I talk about Mayberry? The answer lies in Mini-Mart, Michael Martinez. Let’s be real, he’s not good at all. If you were to asked all 30 MLB general managers, I’m positive at least 29 of them would say they rather have John Mayberry Jr. Now, I’m not saying Mayberry is the next superstar, he’s far from that. However, when it comes to whether Martinez or Mayberry stays, it’s got to be Mayberry.
Perhaps the one advantage Martinez has over Mayberry is the number of positions he can play. Martinez can play middle infield, 3B, and CF. With that being said, with Wilson Valdez in the mix, Martinez is essentially the backup to the backup middle infielder. How many middle infielders does one team need? The only reason to keep the extra middle infielder is if you think Utley will get hurt again. That idea is plausible, but up to this point Utley’s knee has been fine. Mayberry is primarily an outfielder who can play all three positions. Recently, Charlie Manuel stated that Mayberry is by far the second best defensive outfielder behind Victorino (even though Victorino isn’t a lights out defender). Martinez, while it is admirable that he plays a lot of positions, isn’t particularly good defensively at any of the positions he plays. With the Phillies in need of a right-handed bat which is more than likely going to be an outfielder, why wouldn’t you pick the better all-around player?
One thing that isn’t disputable is the fact Mayberry is the better offensive player. While Mini-Mart only has 87 at bats, to say he has no power is an understatement. Three extra base hits with an OPS (On base percentage plus slugging percentage) of .542 will not get the job done at any level of baseball much less the major leagues. Mayberry, on the other hand, does provide some pop with 15 extra base hits this year and an OPS that is 238 points higher than Ross Gload’s designated pinch runner. For some perspective, Michael Martinez has 19 hits on the season compared to Mayberry’s 15 extra base hits. Now, I get the criticisms for Mayberry. He does strike out a lot, (25 percent in 345 career plate appearances) his career batting of .231 vs. right-handed pitchers leaves much to be desired, and his ability to hit off-speed pitches is very Pedro Cerrano like. However, with the struggles of Raul Ibanez to hit lefties, lack of consistency, and lack of ability defensively, Mayberry is a solid compliment to the left fielder. At worst, Mayberry can replace Ibanez as a defensive replacement late in ball games.
The other thing that gives Michael Martinez an advantage over Mayberry is the fact that Martinez is a rule 5 selection. Mini-Mart has to stay on the big league roster for the entire season or else he would have to be offered back to Washington for $25,000. This has to be the only reason Martinez continually remains on the roster because it surely isn’t because of his talent. Considering the Phillies kept the mediocre David Herndon on the big league roster for the same reason last year, the odds are against Mayberry to stay. With the Phillies in a shopping mode for a right-handed bat and their budget restraints, it remains to be seen if they view John as the answer. We’ll find out for sure when Shane Victorino comes off the DL. Do they keep the utility guy without talent or the outfielder with some power? The likelihood is that if they keep Martinez again over Mayberry, they feel that trading for a Ryan Ludwick or Josh Willingham will be more useful to the team than Mayberry. Now whether that is the right answer, Phillies fans will have to wait until October to find out.